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Compliant strip malls added to tax sale

Two Fort Wayne shopping centers are victims of “collateral” damage.

Shorewood Shops and Maplecrest Shops are facing foreclosure because the owner, Ft. Wayne Partners LLC of Indianapolis, grouped the plazas into a collateralization mortgage. The plan allows borrowers to combine several properties.

Collateralization of assets is supposed to give lenders a measure of reassurance against default risk by allowing loans to be issued to individuals or companies with less than perfect credit.

The result is that, although the Fort Wayne shopping plazas aren’t behind on property taxes, they’re included in a Feb. 21 sheriff’s sale in the Indianapolis area because the majority of the grouped investments are there.

According to the Allen County Assessor’s Office, the local strip centers have a combined value of more than $3.5 million. Shorewood Shops is west on Illinois Road near Scott Road, and Maplecrest Shops is north on Maplecrest Road near Rothman Road.

Attorney Reynold T. Berry, who is representing the National Bank of Indianapolis, was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Commercial real estate company NAI Harding Dahm of Fort Wayne is the properties’ broker. Stanley Phillips, executive vice president at NAI Harding, expects prospective buyers will prefer to work with the National Bank instead of getting into a bidding war at the sheriff’s sale.

“The properties aren’t doing bad and aren’t in bad locations,” Phillips said. “It’s just that they were grouped with other properties that aren’t doing well.”

Shorewood Shops’ anchor tenant is workout facility MaxFitness. Other tenants are YoYo Yogurt and Great Clips hair salon.

MaxFitness is the sole tenant at Maplecrest Shops. MaxFitness owner/operator Scott Dierckman said more retail neighbors would create more traffic, but the vacancies have allowed his business to expand.

“These have been good locations for us,” he said. “It’s unfortunate the Maplecrest location isn’t doing as well, but it does give us some room.”

Both shopping plazas span 24,000 square feet, Phillips said.