court papers


Bankruptcy Battle Breaks Out Over Greenwich Village Dev Site

  • May 8, 2023

UPDATED April 27, 10:50 p.m.: George Filopoulos gave up on a Greenwich Village building, but the troubled loans left behind have triggered a bizarre legal fight over the property, which is now being offered for sale as a condominium development site.

The drama began when the longtime real estate investor’s LLC was notified in August 2020 that it had defaulted its $9.3 million first mortgage at 307-309 Sixth Avenue.

The LLC — in which Filopoulos says he owned a 10 percent interest in separate from his firm, Metrovest Equities failed to repay the loan at its maturity date and lender Castellan Capital filed to foreclose.

The case laid quiet during the pandemic and in December of 2021 Castellan sold its loan, according to property records. Filopoulos then transferred its interest in the property in May 2022, according to an attorney for his firm. A court filing does not say who took control of the ownership LLC. Paperwork for the entity was signed by a person named William Schneider, who in November filed project plans for a seven-story, 39-unit building with ground-floor retail and community space.

The judge in the foreclosure case ruled in June that the LLC’s debt had grown to about $15 million, and a foreclosure sale was scheduled for Dec. 14.

But on the eve of the auction, another stakeholder went to bankruptcy court to prevent it from going through.

William Rainero, whose family sold Filopoulos’ LLC the property in 2017, said in court papers that he had provided the buyer a $5 million mortgage to close the $17 million deal. That loan is in the second position behind the one originated by Castellan.

Rainero argued in court papers that the new owner was conspiring to wipe him out by agreeing to hand the property back to

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Chuck & Don’s parent company files for bankruptcy

  • February 28, 2023

Woodbury-based Independent Pet Partners Holdings, the parent company of Chuck & Don’s and several other high-end pet supply stores, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The filing will mean that 66 pet-supply stores under the Chuck & Don’s and Kriser’s Natural Pet (IPP) store banners will be sold. About 100 other stores will eventually close, including the Chuck & Don’s in downtown St. Paul, according to court papers filed Sunday.

The Lowertown store is the only Minnesota store on the company’s list of closing stores. IPP has a goal of completing the liquidation process by the end of February.

The other pet supply stores to close will be under IPP’s other flags including Loyal Companion and Natural Pawz. IPP will continue to operate under Kriser’s and Chuck & Don’s banners.

“We intend to use these proceedings to reorganize our operations and focus on our core markets where we have the strongest foothold including Chuck & Don’s stores” in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas and Colorado, said Julie Maday, recently appointed IPP chief executive, in a statement to the Star Tribune.

“This was a very difficult decision,” Maday said. “We worked diligently to explore all alternatives to keep all brands and markets going; however, in the end we concluded that the right path was to apply our focus to those markets and stores where we have the strongest market position today.”

IPP will sell the 66 remaining stores to a group of lenders including Main Street Capital Corp., Newstone Capital Partners and CION Investment Corp., which are providing a stalking horse bid that includes including a $60 million credit bid, the court papers said.

The company operates 160 pet care locations across a dozen states. Its stores included Chuck & Don’s, Kriser’s Natural Pet, Loyal Companion and Natural Pawz. The stores not

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