NEWPORT DAILY NEWS - Sold! Carnegie Abbey Club bought at auction
By Derek Gomes
Daily News staff
Dec 4, 2018 at 6:51 PM
bidders now own leasehold rights to the 18-hole golf course and rights to other
amenities at the luxury complex.
PORTSMOUTH - The
leasehold rights to the 18-hole golf course at Carnegie Abbey Club and rights
to other amenities at the luxury complex fetched just over $8.8 million at
auction Tuesday afternoon, according to auctioneer Justin Manning, who oversaw
bidder group consists of a group of current members committed to restoring the
club to the high standards it has historically been known for," Laura Decker,
the club's director of membership, said in a prepared statement.
"The room was
electric with excitement once that final bid dropped in," Manning said.
Manning, who is the
president and chief financial officer for Massachusetts-based JJManning
Auctioneers, conducted separate rounds of bidding for four amenities: the
course and clubhouse (but not the residences within the clubhouse that already
are owned), a 41-slip marina, 6 acres for condominium development and 2.5 acres
designated for residential development.
After the individual
rounds, the winning bidder, who submitted the high bid for three of the four
entities, came in over the top by $5,000 to secure all the amenities up for
auction, Manning said. The golf course and clubhouse drew $6.7 million and the
marina $1.5 million, he added. The residential land accounted for the remaining
"From what we saw,
based on all people looking at this and doing their due diligence, the buyer
would represent the best-case scenario for anyone who has any ties to the
Carnegie Abbey Club and that goes for the staff, too," Manning said. "They're
very, very accommodating, helpful, nice staff. ... They seem to be a little bit
relieved because we're hearing that status quo might rule the day."
The leasehold rights
for the club were owned by prominent developer J. Brian O'Neill, who assumed
the lease in 2004. The goal of the foreclosure auction was for Bank of New
England, the lender, to recoup as much as possible of the money it is owed on
the mortgage of the property. The Benedictine monks who operate the Portsmouth
Abbey School own the 300-plus acres on which the course was built.
There were seven
bidders who participated in the auction held at the club, which was not open to
the public and press. While Manning would not identify the bidders, he said two
had marina expertise, two had golf course experience and two were investors.
Bank of New England was the seventh entity that participated.
The $8.8 million
winning bid fell within the $7 million to $10 million range where Manning expected it to be. JJManning conducted auctions for four golf courses in 2010,
with winning bids between $5 million and $10 million, he previously told The
The buyers placed a $180,000
deposit Tuesday and must come up with another $700,000 by Friday. The property
must close within the next 30 days, Manning said.