Financial hardship has forced the owner of the citys first Marriott franchise to lose the lodge.
The Fort Wayne Marriott is no longer in the hands of Azar Inc. Wells Fargo filed foreclosure paperwork because the company wasnt able to repay a $14 million loan issued in 2005.
Businessman George A. Azar is named in documents in Allen Superior Court.
Philadelphia-based GF Management is running the hotel, 305 E. Washington Center Road, while the bank attempts to find a buyer for the 219-room inn west of Coldwater Road. GF Management also is overseeing Rum Runners piano bar and Red River Steakhouse at the hotel.
Azar and members of his management team declined to comment. They issued a statement Thursday that highlighted the companys more than four decades of ownership of the hotel.
Azar also owns a Big Boy restaurant in Waynedale and the Back 40 Junction Restaurant in Decatur.
The recession that continues to plague much of the world today had an especially devastating impact on the hotel industry nationally and the Fort Wayne Marriott was no exception, a company statement says. Despite these challenges we continued to invest in and operate the hotel these last few years believing conditions would improve.
Hotel staff said it has been business as usual. GF Management works with lenders across the nation in the loan resolution process, at times preparing workout evaluations and also acting in the capacity of receiver.
Over the past 20 years, GF Management or one of its affiliates has acted as a receiver for hotel properties throughout the country and has performed hotel management, receiverships, workouts and evaluated more than 300 hotel properties for financial institutions.
It is unclear whether the inn will remain a Marriott.
Officials at the hotel chains corporate offices in Bethesda, Md., were unavailable for comment Thursday.
Last summer, a July 31 story in The Journal Gazette featured Alex Azar, chairman of Azars Inc., reminiscing about longtime real estate broker Al Zacher, who assisted in bringing Marriott to the Summit City.
Al is somebody who just checks all the details and tells you what the pros and cons are, Azar said. It was the very first Marriott (franchise) in Fort Wayne.
Wells Fargo filed foreclosure paperwork in May.