PNC foreclosing on Janus Lofts building

June 22, 2010

Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank has filed to foreclose on the historic five-story Janus Lofts building at 240 S. Meridian St.

The bank is asking for a judgment of $3.2 million and the appointment of a receiver after the developer, an entity affiliated with locally based Mansur Real Estate Services Inc., defaulted on a 2003 construction loan for renovations to the former Kipp Brothers Wholesalers building.

The 63,700-square-foot building has about 9,590 square feet of retail space on the first floor and 23 apartments on floors two through five. The 1905 building features original wood floors, tin-metal stamped ceilings and cast-iron columns.

In the lawsuit, the bank says its interest in the building likely is worth less than the amout it is owed. PNC also is seeking to enforce personal guarantees from the development partners, Mansur partners Cornelius M. Alig, W. Robert Echols and Charles R. Cagaan.

Alig said he expects a forbearance agreement between the developers and the bank will be executed this week, giving the company more time to refinance the project. Neither Alig nor his partners have yet filed a response to the suit, citing the ongoing settlement discussions.

On its website, Mansur says the company invested about $6.2 million in the Janus project.

The loan was issued by The Provident Bank, which was acquired by National City Bank, which was acquired by PNC at the height of the credit crisis. The loan agreement included two promissory notes taken out in January 2003, PNC said. The notes were extended and ultimately matured in August 2009. PNC filed suit on May 21, 2010.

Apartments in the building, which are 100 percent occupied, range from 650 square feet to about 2,000 square feet and feature polished concrete floors, historic replica windows, downtown views and secured lower-level parking.

The move is only the latest development project to face foreclosure in what has been a rough few years for developers. Locally based Whitsett Group in 2009 acquired the unfinished 707 E. North St. condo project after Fifth Third Bank foreclosed on the Beilouny Luxury Properties development. Whitsett plans affordable apartments instead of million-dollar condos.


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