An Ohio bank wants permission from a Baton Rouge federal judge to sell developer J.T. “Tommy” Spinosa’s $170 million Perkins Rowe project without resolving a dispute over continued supply of chilled water.
That water is the source of air conditioning for the mixed-use development’s shops, restaurants, offices and residential units. And it is under the control of a Spinosa firm, Central Facilities Operating Company LLC, court records show.
Spinosa said Thursday that the sale of Perkins Rowe by KeyBank National Association, of Cleveland, would not affect chilled water at the development’s buildings.
“That’s not something we would do,” Spinosa said. “Anybody who is paying their bill, just like with any other utility, we would continue their water.
“Our residents and commercial tenants don’t have anything to worry about,” Spinosa added.
The developer would not comment further on KeyBank’s request for a court-approved sale of Perkins Rowe.
Laura J. Mimura, KeyBank’s spokeswoman, did not respond to questions about any possible loss of chilled water at Perkins Rowe.
“The day-to-day operations of businesses and condominiums within Perkins Rowe have remained strong throughout this (3-year-old) process,” Mimura said Thursday.
KeyBank sued Spinosa and his Perkins Rowe companies in July 2009. The lender sought to foreclose on the project for $170 million lent for project construction.
U.S. District Judge James J. Brady authorized KeyBank in August 2011 to begin foreclosure proceedings for sale of Perkins Rowe.
But the bank made no immediate move.
In February, however, the judge denied KeyBank a summary judgment that would have required Spinosa to “ensure the continued adequate supply of chilled water to the property at commercially reasonable rates for the life of the Perkins Rowe project.”
Brady added that KeyBank officials could still take Spinosa and his Perkins Rowe firms to trial over the chilled-water issue if they wished.
Atlanta attorney Janine Cone Metcalf, leader of KeyBank’s legal team, said last week in her motion for final judgment and sale of Perkins Rowe that bank officials want no further delays. She added that maintaining such properties during years of litigation is financially draining.
Metcalf also said bank officials are concerned that Spinosa, who personally guaranteed the loans granted his Perkins Rowe firms, is losing money in other court cases that could have gone to KeyBank if the lender had sought a final judgment earlier.
Spinosa and his Perkins Rowe firms face more than $10 million in other recent judgments, Metcalf wrote.
Those judgments include more than $5 million awarded Feb. 29 to Travelers Casualty & Surety Company of America, Metcalf said.
Documents filed by Metcalf also showed First Bank and Trust was awarded more than $4.3 million Jan. 17 from firms whose loans were guaranteed by Spinosa. The developer consented to that judgment, court records show.
Spinosa also agreed to a judgment of $250,000 in favor of Texas Contract Carpet Inc. that became final Dec. 27, according to documents filed by Metcalf.
And $1.7 million was awarded Oct. 3 to De Lage Landen Financial Services Inc., court appointed as manager of Perkins Rowe in 2009, Metcalf said.
After receiving Metcalf’s documents regarding the judgments last week, Brady set a deadline of July 31 for Spinosa and his Perkins Rowe companies to file any opposition to KeyBank’s push for sale of Perkins Rowe.
The busy development is near the intersection of Bluebonnet Boulevard and Perkins Road.
It has more than 60 shops and restaurants, a movie complex, grocery store, pharmacy, 229 apartments and 88 condominiums.