A New Orleans appellate panel has denied Baton Rouge developer J.T. “Tommy” Spinosa’s request to move his $201.9 million dispute with an Ohio lender from federal court to state court.
Spinosa asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month to strip the case from U.S. District Judge James J. Brady in Baton Rouge and transfer it to state district court for trial.
The developer made that request after Brady ruled that Spinosa and three of his firms must pay KeyBank National Association of Cleveland and eight other lenders $201.9 million in principal and interest owed on the Perkins Rowe development.
Judges Jennifer Walker Elrod, of Houston, and E. Grady Jolly and James E. Graves Jr., both of Jackson, Miss., denied Spinosa’s petition. Their decision to leave the case with Brady was filed late Thursday with the federal district clerk in Baton Rouge, court records show.
Spinosa still has an appeal before the 5th Circuit in his effort to overturn Brady’s award in favor of KeyBank, which represents all of the lenders in the foreclosure suit filed in July 2009.
KeyBank alleged more than three years ago that Spinosa had not made any payments on the original loan of $170 million since October 2008.
Spinosa counterclaimed that KeyBank cost him and his Perkins Rowe companies more than $11 million by interfering in his sale of condominiums at the development, which is near the intersection of Bluebonnet Boulevard and Perkins Road.
But after Spinosa repeatedly refused to release documents requested by KeyBank, Brady stripped the developer and his three Perkins Rowe companies of all counterclaims and defenses.
In his remaining 5th Circuit appeal, Spinosa is asking the appellate court to block KeyBank’s planned foreclosure sale of Perkins Rowe until after his appeals are exhausted. As of Friday, the appellate panel had not ruled on that request.
Brady authorized KeyBank to begin the foreclosure sale process, but ordered both bank officials and Spinosa to discuss disagreements over sale procedures. The judge ordered the bank and the developer to report by Thursday on the results of their discussions.
KeyBank attorney Janine Cone Metcalf, of Atlanta, Ga., reported Thursday that the two sides had reached an impasse.
Spinosa attorney Mark R. Beebe, of New Orleans, told Brady on Friday that a second appraisal should be obtained before the foreclosure sale is advertised.
An appraisal obtained by KeyBank in March valued Perkins Rowe at $86 million. The development includes 87 condominiums, 226 apartments, more than 60 shops and restaurants, a book store, grocery store, fitness center, movie complex and pharmacy.