Centerplace foreclosure trial set for early 2004
By Bob Freund
The $53 million foreclosure case against the Centerplace project, which comprises three prominent buildings in downtown Rochester, has been scheduled for trial early next year.
Olmsted District Judge Joseph Wieners on Monday set March 1 as the opening date for the main court hearings on the claim of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America against local partnership BGD5 Ltd., principal partner GAC Corp. and Chafoulias Management Co.
Teachers, one of the nation's largest pension fund firms, is seeking a sheriff's sale of the Radisson Plaza Hotel, Centerplace Galleria shopping center and the U.S. Bank Building, which is at 155 First Ave. S.W. BGD5, GAC Corp. and Chafoulias Management, all controlled by developer Gus Chafoulias of Rochester, partially defaulted on the mortgage in March 2002 and have made no payments to financier Teachers since mid-August 2002.
The debt, with interest and penalties, had accumulated to $53.6 million by February. A receiver, Welsh Cos. of Bloomington, Minn., is now operating the properties under court supervision.
The Chafoulias companies have been opposing the foreclosure, lately arguing that a forbearance agreement was made by Teachers in fall 2002 and greatly affects the case.
Attorneys for both Teachers and the Chafoulias interests discussed scheduling and other issues at Monday's court session. Wieners set several other motion and pretrial hearings for later this year.