Sport Resort

A rendering of the proposed Portage Sport Resort shows its features on 160 acres west of Ind. 249 and north of Interstate 94.

PORTAGE — A partner in the  Catalyst Lifestyles Sport Resort has filed an appeal in the recent dismissal of a bankruptcy lawsuit involving the proposed $75 million development.

A judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana granted the dismissal in a ruling late last month, saying Tony Czapla, one of three managers on the project, did not have standing to file the original bankruptcy without consent of the other two partners.

Czapla filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Oct. 31. About two weeks later, a motion to dismiss the case was filed by managers Todd Thomae and Joshua Sherrard. 

"Sport Resort seeks to utilize Chapter 11 reorganization to ensure repayment of its debts to creditors, successful restructuring and the eventual completion of the development," according to a written statement from Czapla.

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In April 2016, a ceremony was held on the land on the west side of Ind. 249 and just south of U.S. 12 marking the beginning of construction, with promises that some of the development would be opened by year's end. Instead, aside from moving some earth, there has been no construction.

Several liens were filed on the property. The city of Portage filed a foreclosure lawsuit last year after the developer failed to make a $600,000 payment on land it was purchasing from the city. 

Thomae had also filed a petition for the dissolution of the company last summer and asked that what assets are remaining be placed in the hands of a receiver. The petition claimed there have been disagreements between the partners and they do "not have sufficient cash or capital to continue any operations or development of the real estate." 

After Czapla filed for bankruptcy in October, all other court matters were stayed. Those were revived briefly when the judge ruled July 27 to dismiss the bankruptcy case. The appeal, however, again stays other legal actions involving the development.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.