Residential developer declares bankruptcy

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A local residential real estate developer involved in such projects as Monon on Main in Carmel has filed for bankruptcy.

John F. Swinehart, Westfield, is seeking Chapter 7 protection in federal court, where he listed assets of $357,006 and liabilities of $8.3 million.

Swinehart served as chief financial officer of Bruce Gunstra Builders Inc. from 2003 to 2009, when the company ceased operations, according to an online biography.

Bruce Gunstra Builders annually was among the largest home builders in the area in terms of building permits filed, ranking as high as sixth in 2006, according to IBJ statistics. The company filed 220 permits that year.

Gunstra developed Monon on Main, which is listed in Swinehart’s bankruptcy filing as a project in which he was a partner.

Monon on Main is a 77-townhome development in Carmel’s new Arts & Design District.

Other projects Swinehart was involved in and listed on the bankruptcy filing include Royal Oaks on the east side of Indianapolis, The Villages of Cobblestone on the south side of the city, and Manchester Square in Zionsville—all Gunstra developments.

Secured claims include a mortgage from Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank with a balance of $245,977 and a second mortgage for $103,000 from Milwaukee-based M&I Bank, according to the court documents.  

Swinehart's largest unsecured debt is a $3.1 million claim from MainSource Bank in Greensburg relating to his involvement in Manchester Square.

M&I Bank also filed two large unsecured claims—one for $1.7 million for potential liability arising from his involvement with GSL&C LLC and another for $1.1 million for potential liability arising from his involvement in Monon on Main, according to the bankruptcy filing.

Swinehart is listed as a partner in GSL&C, a real estate development firm. It’s located at 8383 Craig St. in the Castleton area—the same address in which Gunstra was located.

A phone number for Swinehart has been disconnected, and a website for GSL&C could not be located.



  • Monon on Main?
    But how can that project be underwater? I thought every in that area was pure gold. Don't mind the sweetheart deals given out to get/retain retail tenants. Isn't that what Brainard tells everyone? I wonder if the property taxes from this project were supposed to support the White Pacadermalladium?
  • It is a big deal
    Do you really expect IBJ not to write about somebody who has $8 million in unpaid bills just because some consider him to be a "nice guy."? I'm sure some of the companies he didn't pay don't consider him to be very nice.
  • What's the big deal?
    It must be a slow day at IBJ to report that a former officer in an already defunct building company is filing personal bankruptcy. For what it's worth, I know John personally and he is a great guy who minds his own business and to my knowledge has never tried to hurt or steal from anyone... unlike some other people in the news lately.
  • Too Bad
    I don't know him from Adam, but I feel bad for the guy. I can guess who the G and S are in GSL&C, but I wonder who the L & C are?

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