A bankruptcy filing threatens to delay a sale of the IMG Center, a 15-story downtown Cleveland office building that has been tied up in court for three years.
James Breen Real Estate LLC, a small company owned by longtime IMG Center steward Jim Breen, filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on July 20. The move hit the pause button on foreclosure litigation over the IMG Center as a monthslong sales push seemed to be nearing its crescendo.
It’s unclear how long the timeout will last. In Chapter 7 cases, an automatic stay — which stalls lawsuits, foreclosures, repossessions and collection actions against a debtor — typically runs for 90 days or so. But creditors can seek relief from those restrictions.
James Breen Real Estate is not actually a defendant in the foreclosure case, raising the question of whether the stay will have sticking power. At very least, though, the bankruptcy filing complicates an already messy legal fight and adds to the uncertainty around the future of a high-profile property.
Paul Downey, the court-appointed receiver who has been overseeing the IMG Center since October 2019, said he’s unsure about the implications for the sale effort, which he’s conducting with help from