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NEWS & PRESS

04.15.2010
METROWEST DAILY NEWS - Developer buys Marlborough's Corbin Plaza at auction

For the second time in nearly a year and a half, Corbin Plaza, a vacant, 24,000 square-foot building at 118 Pleasant St., sold at auction yesterday.

Robert McCart, a builder from Lincoln, won the four-story building with a bid of $330,000.

"I would like to keep it the same, bring it up to code," McCart said.

Medical offices would work well, said Building Commissioner Stephen Reid, one of several city representatives at the auction.

"There's a lot of potential, a lot of flexibility," he said.

Sudarshan Chatterjee, a doctor from North Andover, won the building in December 2008 with a $310,000 bid at an auction at City Hall.

Chatterjee replaced the windows and vinyl siding, but the inside is a different story.

"Basically nothing works," said Reid, who noted the lack of a working elevator and sprinkler system.

Reid said Chatterjee may have wanted to cash out and get a return on the property, as he could not secure occupants. Chatterjee hired JJManning Auctioneers of Yarmouth Port to sell the property at a voluntary auction.

"An auction is the easiest way to get quick money," Reid said.

Mayor Nancy Stevens said she had high hopes when Chatterjee bought the property. After the 2008 auction, Chatterjee said he planned to open medical offices in the building. His wife planned to open a spa there.

"He had a great vision for the building," Stevens said.

The mayor said she hopes to work with the new owner on the property's development.

"It really is a great property," she said.
 
 Justin Manning, of JJManning Auctioneers of Yarmouth Port, reads over the fine print before Wednesday's auction of Corbin Plaza on Pleasant Street in Marlborough. The winning bid was $330,000.
 

The city wanted property construction to begin by January 2011 and finish within two years, according to the terms and conditions of sale at the 2008 auction. The city had decided to sell Corbin Plaza at auction after foreclosing on the property earlier in 2008. The former landlord, Richard Bland, could not pay the back taxes and owed about $790,000, including interest and penalties, at the time of the auction.

Reid said construction never began after Chatterjee bought the property because he never submitted plans for a site plan permit or building permit. As a result, McCart has until January 2011 to start construction. Reid said the city will need site and building plans from the new owner.

While the 2008 auction had about 15 bidders, four people signed up yesterday. For a large commercial property in a down market, that's about par for the course, said Justin Manning, president and CFO of JJManning Auctioneers.

Manning, the auctioneer, started off the bidding at $500,000 before coming down to $250,000. Within about five minutes, McCart had placed his winning bid.

The total cost, including the 10 percent buyer's premium, was $363,000.

(Paul Crocetti can be reached at 508-490-7453 or pcrocett@cnc.com.)