Former Pabst Blue Ribbon Building Faces Bankruptcy Sale
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Former Pabst Blue Ribbon Building Faces Bankruptcy Sale

January 20, 2012

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An iconic Wisconsin building owned by BC Pabst Holdings LLC, which is filing for bankruptcy, now faces an uncertain future after the demise of its owner, according to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal.

The company’s bankruptcy has threatened the fate of a historic three-story, 28,000-square-foot building that once housed a research lab belonging to Pabst Blue Ribbon, an ancient beer company that has seen a recent rise in popularity.

Pabst, which was founded in 1844, used to play an important role in the Milwaukee economy, as evidenced by its eventual occupation of a 21-acre business site in the center of the Wisconsin city.

The beer company, however, closed the complex in 1996, and the historic building, which was built in 1913, was sold to a local university that was modified for a different use. Most of the buildings on the old Pabst campus, in fact, are being renovated to serve as hotels, restaurants, apartments, and for other commercial uses.

Sources indicate that the bankruptcy filing will help the owners of the building delay, and potentially defeat, a foreclosure action that was filed against it by the commercial real estate outfit, Company Financial Inc.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Company Financial claims that BC Pabst Holding owes more than $4.8 million in unpaid loans. The old Pabst building had been used as collateral for the loan by the holding company.

In order to buy itself more time, the company took advantage of bankruptcy’s automatic stay, which usually stops debt-related legal actions, including lawsuits, wage garnishment, or foreclosure actions, against an individual filer or a company.

In addition to the presence of the former Pabst research lab, this bankruptcy filing was also notable because of the involvement of Mark Chmura, a former Green Bay Packer in a state that worships its football heroes.

Sources indicate that Chmura has played a prominent role in the redevelopment of the old brewery site, and that his company owns several of the buildings on the old brewery grounds.

Chmura gained unwanted notoriety in 2000 when he was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl, although we was acquitted of the charges the next year.


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