Perkins Rowe foreclosure sale postponed to May

The foreclosure sale of Baton Rouge developer J.T. “Tommy” Spinosa’s mixed-use project, Perkins Rowe, will not occur Wednesday as scheduled, officials of an Ohio lender announced Tuesday.

Officials of KeyBank National Association of Cleveland said Feb. 4 the sale would occur Wednesday. That was four months after U.S. District Judge James J. Brady awarded the bank $201.9 million from Spinosa and three of his Perkins Rowe companies for construction loans that were not repaid. The judge also specified that interest on the debt would build at a daily rate of $32,510.

The bank filed a lawsuit against Spinosa in July 2009.

KeyBank spokeswoman Laura J. Mimura said Tuesday the sale is postponed until May 8.

“We’ve filed to postpone the foreclosure sale of Perkins Rowe for business reasons,” Mimura said in an email. She would not specify those business reasons.

“KeyBank cannot discuss the specific details of the foreclosure proceedings for privacy and legal reasons,” Mimura said. “However, it is important to note that business operations for Perkins Rowe will continue, and it is in the best interests of everyone involved to ensure resolution of this matter.”

The 23-acre development near the intersection of Perkins Road and Bluebonnet Boulevard includes 87 condominiums, 226 apartments, a movie complex, fitness center, pharmacy, grocery, bookstore and more than 60 restaurants and shops. It also has two parks at which musical groups perform.

Spinosa fought KeyBank’s claims, stating in court filings that the lender had cost him more than $11 million by interfering in planned sales of condominiums.

But KeyBank officials complained that Spinosa and his firms were withholding documents they needed for pursuit of their claims against the developer. Brady cited Spinosa and his firms for contempt in June 2011 and dismissed all of their defenses and counterclaims in the dispute.

On Feb. 19, New Orleans attorney Mark R. Beebe, representing Spinosa, filed an appellate brief with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Beebe told the appellate court that Spinosa was right to withhold the documents from KeyBank because they contained privileged information shared between Spinosa and his attorneys.

Beebe also argued that Brady should not have penalized the developer and his firms so drastically. And, Beebe said, the judge should have provided advance warning of that defense-killing penalty.

Spinosa’s attorney said Brady once mentioned that he might order “a civil fine and incarceration for Mr. Spinosa.” Beebe added: “At no time did the court ever state it would consider dismissing Perkins Rowe’s counterclaims and affirmative defenses.”

Beebe asked the 5th Circuit to rule that Brady was wrong not to throw KeyBank’s civil suit out of federal court. The attorney for Spinosa also asked the appellate court to reverse Brady’s dismissal of the developer’s defenses and counterclaims against KeyBank. In addition, Beebe asked the 5th Circuit to overturn the summary judgment that Brady awarded to KeyBank.

Records of the 5th Circuit show KeyBank has until April 2 to respond to Spinosa’s appellate brief.

The $201.9 million judgment Brady awarded KeyBank includes interest the judge said was owed KeyBank on loans that originally totaled $170 million.

In November, the New York firm of Cushman and Wakefield, contracted by KeyBank, appraised Perkins Rowe’s market value at $95 million.