Bankruptcy, foreclosure filing dog Park Fletcher property

A chunk of the Park Fletcher industrial park that emerged from foreclosure last year is again experiencing financial troubles.

New owner Park Fletcher Realty LLC filed Feb. 15 for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, citing $12.6 million in debt.

The company, owned by local businessman Shawn Williams, in June bought 17 buildings in the southwest-side park totaling 808,000 square feet, court documents show. Overall, Park Fletcher encompasses 7.3 million square feet, ranking it among the largest industrial parks in the metropolitan area.

The troubled 65-acre parcel that is part of the Chapter 11 reorganization has changed hands three times the past decade.

Duke Realty Corp., which bought Park Fletcher in the 1990s, sold the 17 buildings in 2006 to California-based Blue Real Estate Co. Blue's local holdings at one time also included the downtown Century Building, four Castle Creek office buildings and a 360,000-square-foot, seven-building portfolio in Park 100.

Lenders ultimately foreclosed on the Blue properties, including the Park Fletcher piece in 2011. The portfolio languished in receivership for three years, until Williams purchased it last summer.  

Williams, however, failed to close on financing. So the next-highest bidder on the property, Emeryville, California-based Filbert Orton EAT LLC, bought it and immediately flipped it to Williams.

The bankruptcy filing lists Filbert Orton is the lender on the property. Meantime, Filbert Orton late last month filed in Marion Superior Court to foreclose on the 17 buildings it sold to Williams. Judge Gary Miller has appointed a receiver to manage the property during foreclosure proceedings.

Williams’ attorney, KC Cohen, is hopeful his client can maintain possession of the properties.

“It was a very short-term deal [with Filbert Orton], and he didn’t have enough time to close on a refinance to take them out,” he said. “Filbert only wanted to stay in for a short period of time.”

Williams also owns trucking and logistics firms, Cohen said. He didn’t respond to a request from IBJ for comment.

In the short time Williams has owned the buildings, he has increased occupancy from 60 percent to 75 percent, Cohen said. Williams’ largest tenants include jet-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and doughnut maker Krispy Kreme.

Despite the troubles, Park Fletcher remains a formidable industrial park, said Jake Sturman, vice president of the industrial group at Jones Lang LaSalle’s Indianapolis office. He leased the Williams portfolio from 2009 to 2012.

“It’s still a great southwest location for small distributors,” he said, “and it still services the Plainfield submarket well.”

The 45-year-old Park Fletcher, just east of Indianapolis International Airport, was one of the first master-planned industrial parks in the city. Other, larger parks—including Airwest, AmeriPlex-Indianapolis and Airtech Park—have opened in the area in recent years, intensifying competition.

Duke still owns several buildings in Park Fletcher. But the developer in the past month has put the buildings on the market, in addition to others at the northwest side Park 100 industrial complex. Between the two, Duke is seeking to shed more than 2 million square feet of industrial space, said Charlie Podell, a Duke senior vice president.

“We want to have a more modern portfolio and buildings that are over 100,000 square feet,” he said.

Duke’s focus has turned to much larger warehouses, such as the 936,000-square-foot spec building it’s constructing in Plainfield. It should be finished in April.

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