Attorney Karl Haas, who worked on some of the Indianapolis area's biggest real estate projects over past last three decades, has died at age 57, his colleagues announced Monday.
Haas died suddenly at his home on Dec. 6, according to a news release from the City of Carmel, where he served as attorney for the Carmel Redevelopment Commission for more than 20 years
Haas was a founding partner of the Indianapolis firm Wallack Somers & Haas P.C., which he started in 1999 with partners Barry Wallack, Michael Wallack and George Somers. Before that, Haas was an associate and later a partner at the firm previously known as Baker & Daniels, beginning in 1985.
Haas’ legal practice focused on construction and permanent financing, leasing and other matters for real estate projects. Throughout his career, he represented developers, lenders, equity investors and municipal agencies on numerous projects, including Conseco (Banker's Life) Fieldhouse, Circle Centre mall, the Murat Theater, the Anthem operations center and the former Thomson Consumer Electronics Americas headquarters.
"Karl was able to use his experience with projects such as Circle Centre mall in downtown Indianapolis to create a road map for the creation of such notable Carmel redevelopment projects as Carmel's Arts & Design District, Carmel City Center and the new Midtown development to name a few," a statement from Carmel said.
Haas concentrated primarily on facilitating difficult transactions between developers and municipalities, and making sure both sides were satisfied.
"Karl's expertise in the area of real estate development and public private partnerships was vital to our success, especially early on," Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said in written comments. "No other Indiana community has approached its redevelopment efforts as aggressively or as skillfully as Carmel has and that is due in great part to the knowledge that Karl brought to our CRC discussions and the planning process."
A 1985 graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, then known as the IU School of Law-Indianapolis, Haas received multiple awards and honors throughout his legal career, including being named among the Best Lawyers in America and being ranked first among all Indianapolis real estate attorneys by Chambers & Partners in 2005 and 2006.
Haas is survived by his wife, Holly Stults Haas, two sons and three stepsons. The family will hold a memorial service and open house from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Haas family residence, 4163 Washington Blvd.