News Column

Lawsuit: Marriott hotel developer defaulted on $3 million loan

August 23, 2014

By Andy Kravetz, Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.

Aug. 23--PEORIA -- The developers of the Marriott Pere Marquette and the accompanying Courtyard by Marriott have defaulted on a $3 million loan, a lawsuit filed this week alleges.

Main Street Land Trust, the group which sold the property where the new Courtyard sits now, claims Gary Matthews and his business partner Monte Brannan defaulted on the $3 million loan. The trust's attorney, Sam Zabek, said his clients support the Downtown hotels and want them to succeed but also had to "protect their legal interests."

The suit seeks the repayment of $2.4 million plus interest, costs and fees.

Also named in the suit, which was filed Thursday in Peoria County Circuit Court, are the corporations that represent the renovated Pere Marquette and the new Courtyard, the IBEW-NECA Diversified Underwriters Real Estate Fund and the city of Peoria. The latter two are named as they both have a financial interest in the Courtyard's mortgage.

Attempts to reach Matthews and Brannan were unsuccessful Friday. City Manager Patrick Urich said this was a matter of "seller financing."

"This is an issue that those two parties have to work out as part of their arrangement," Urich said. "We have a secured position on this as we have a mortgage on the property, but clearly, these two parties have to work this out."

No fewer than five lawsuits have been filed in Tazewell County Circuit Court this spring involving Matthews, Brannan and their associated companies, including EM Properties. The suits allege Matthews has defaulted on several mortgage payments, failed to abide by loan agreements and, in one case, nullified a consulting contract.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week for the Courtyard hotel, Matthews said only a couple of minor legal matters have not been settled. He had not commented publicly about the issues.

The hotel complex attached via a skywalk to the Peoria Civic Center requires the city to bond $32.5 million in principal and capitalized interest over 20 years. Payments on the general obligation bonds will come from revenue generated by the facility.


Andy Kravetz can be reached at 686-3283 or Follow him on Twitter @andykravetz.


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Source: Journal Star (Peoria, IL)

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