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Friday, November 02, 2007

City condo conversion faces foreclosure - via Crains Cleveland

By STAN BULLARD3:06 pm, November 2, 2007

AmTrust Bank of Cleveland began foreclosure proceedings Oct. 19 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court against a partnership formed by Ken Lurie of Rysar Properties and Keith Sutton of Sutton Builders that developed Painter’s Loft, a 20-unit condo at a former factory at 8205 Franklin Blvd., Cleveland.
AmTrust seeks to foreclose for $800,000 that it is owed.

Mr. Sutton said the two have more than $1 million of their own money in the project and blamed the foreclosure on the depressed housing market. The last of the 11 units sold transferred 13 months ago.
Mr. Lurie said he is disappointed the bank lost confidence in the duo’s ability to sell the remaining units.
“It’s not a failed project,” Mr. Lurie said. “It’ll be a success, but not for me. I’m in business to make a profit.”

The remaining units carry asking prices upwards of $189,000, said John Corral, a Howard Hanna Smythe Cramer sales agent who has the listing for Painter’s Loft.
Land records show the lower-priced units, in the $160,000 range, sold more quickly than the pricier condos.“It’s a sign of the times,” Mr. Sutton said. “I can’t tell you what my plans are. We’ve been trying to get this fixed for a long time. When you’re not selling houses, that’s the problem.” Trouble comes in threes Mr. Sutton noted Painter’s Loft is a separate venture from others that he is undertaking, a point Mr. Lurie echoes.“It’s not that the phone isn’t ringing,” Mr. Lurie said. “It’s difficult to get buyers approved, and we’re not talking about nonconforming (or poor credit) loans.”

Painter’s Loft was launched in 2004.
With the foreclosure action, Painter’s Loft becomes the third new-housing development in the middle of the city’s West Side to run into trouble.

The 189-unit West Tech Lofts apartment project by The Orlean Co. of Shaker Heights has gone through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development default. A Philadelphia real estate company recently bought the $14 million loan on the project for $2.9 million.

Also undergoing a foreclosure action is the troubled Ashbury Townhomes project by Ameri-Con Homes at the former Joseph & Feiss Factory at West 53rd Street and Fenwick Avenue.

That $20-millon, 150-unit project stalled after the first six townhouses went up on the site after protracted delays.


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