Vacant Kenosha condo tower in foreclosure

A Kenosha County judge recently granted a foreclosure judgment against Robert Watring, the developer of the 9-story, 34-unit, Virginia Towers condo building in downtown Kenosha.
Lake Forest, Ill.-based Baytree National Bank & Trust Co. is owed $7.7 million from the project, said Russell Long, an attorney with Milwaukee-based Davis & Kuelthau S.C., who is representing the bank.
The case is now in a 6-month redemption period. Unless Watring is able to repay the loan the building will be sold at a sheriff’s auction in December.
The bank expects the proceeds from the sheriff’s auction to be significantly less than the $7.7 million it is owed, Long said.
The building, located at Fourth Avenue and 57th Street, is completely vacant, Long said. Only one of the condos was sold, but the deal “didn’t work out,” Long said, and it also remains vacant.
Some of the condos in the buildings are complete, but most of the units are at white box level, Long said.
The project came to a halt in 2008 as the U.S. housing market was collapsing and the economy entered the Great Recession.
Watring has filed a countersuit claiming that Baytree promised to provide financing for condo buyers at Virginia Towers and the bank’s failure to do so contributed to the project’s failure. That suit could go to trial in August.

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