There are two kinds of foreclosure, and the former Thorn Americas buildings at 37th and Rock Road is looking at both.
The two connected buildings are scheduled for sale by Sedgwick County on July 23 because owner CIP Investment Properties of Irving, Texas, hasn’t paid its property taxes since 2006. The bill: $3 million.
But mortgage payments on the buildings also haven’t been paid — not since September 2010, according to a lawsuit filed June 11 by the mortgage holder, 5400 Holdings of West Des Moines, Iowa.
The buildings, which total 175,830 square feet, are among the more prominent office buildings in Wichita. They served as headquarters for Thorn Americas until it left Wichita in 1998. It now houses a number of tenants, including corporate offices for Via Christi Health.
5400 Holdings is seeking to foreclose on the property seeking not only the missing payments but all future payments, fees, interest, penalties — and the unpaid taxes. The bill: $20.4 million.
County Counselor Rich Euson said that because the tax sale will occur first, the county’s claim must be settled first. If 5400 Holdings wants to maintain its foreclosure action, it will have to pay off the tax bill.
If the property goes to tax sale, the buyer is not responsible for the unpaid taxes, which are wiped out, said County Treasurer Linda Kizzire.
A lawyer representing 5400 Holdings in the suit declined to comment.
The foreclosure actions appear to be the culmination of years of struggles for CIP, which has been sued 19 times since 2010, most frequently by contractors and suppliers demanding payment, according to court records.
In an April 12 letter formally demanding the $20.4 million, attorney Don Dagenaise of Lathrop and Gage, a Kansas City law firm, wrote:
“Lender and its processor as the holders of this loan have been more than patient with you given the long-running nature of these defaults, but its patience is gone.”
A message left for David M. Hoff, president of CIP Investment Properties, was not returned Thursday.
According to the suit, Hoff had personally guaranteed $2 million of the loan.
CIP originally took out the mortgage from Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co. in 2002. 5400 Holdings, which is co-located in West Des Moines with Farm Bureau, assumed the loan in 2011.