Saturday, June 04, 2011

Kosene & Kosene Claims In Lawsuit It Was Double-Crossed By Miller

When real estate developer Tadd Miller first proposed a publicly-financed redevelopment project for the old Bank One Ops Center, it was assumed he was acting as a front man for Kosene & Kosene, the prominent Indianapolis real estate developer of which he had been a partner for a number of years. Kosene & Kosene thought the same thing according to a lawsuit filed last month in Marion Superior Court according to the IBJ's Cory Schouten:

The suit says Miller in 2008 covered initial expenses for the deal by taking $120,000 from a partnership he had set up with Gerry Kosene, David Kosene and Angie Guinn, in which the Kosenes and Miller each owned 32.3 percent and Guinn, Kosene & Kosene's office manager, owned 3 percent.
But simultaneously, Miller was setting up a separate entity he alone controlled to purchase the Bank One garage and Ops Center and "deceiving the public and all other parties" into believing the Residences would be his first "solo" project the suit alleges.
"When confronted about this, Miller explained that in order to ensure the project was ultimately approved by the city, he had to approach it in this manner," the lawsuit says. "According to Miller, Mayor Ballard . . .  did not want G. Kosene involved in the project."
The suit cites the "project's political sensitivity" but did not elaborate.
Schouten says Miller is disputing the allegations in the suit, likening the split to a divorce. Kosene's attorney tells Schouten a divorce would require a financial split which did not occur in this case. It's curious that Miller would claim Ballard did not want Kosene to be involved in the project. Kosene founded the company that did a lot of residential redevelopment in the area near the proposed project. He has also been very close to former Mayor Steve Goldsmith, who was rumored to be pushing the deal behind the scenes. Mayor Ballard's spokesman, Marc Lotter, called the suggestion that politics played a role in the deal as "laughable" according to Schouten, noting Kosene and Milhaus Development, the new company Miller formed, have made contributions to Republicans and Democrats alike. Regardless, The Residences deal is another publicly-financed project where the taxpayers will bear the greatest financial risk, while any financial reward will accrue to Milhaus and its new partner, the politically-connected Gene B. Glick Co.

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