LOWELL SUN - Stonehedge Inn sold for $3M at socially distanced auction
By ROBERT MILLS | email@example.com |
May 9, 2020 at 3:52
bidder won a highly-regulated, socially distanced auction for the Stonehedge Hotel and
Spa on Thursday with a $3 million bid, according to the
Auctioneers President Justin J. Manning said there were 11 registered bidders
in the auction, which was conducted on the property at 160 Pawtucket Blvd.,
Tyngsboro, on Thursday at 11 a.m. He said the property was sold for $2.85
million plus an obligation to pay $150,000 in municipal liens.
Manning said the
winning bidder was already in the hospitality industry, but that his company
does not more than that.
"We do not disclose
any of the bidder's contact info in any of our auctions," he said.
Administrator Matt Hanson said on Friday that he has not yet heard from the
winning bidder, but that he expected he would soon or once the property is
closed on. Hanson confirmed the roughly $150,000 in municipal liens are for
back taxes owed to the town.
The auction was
initially scheduled for April but was moved to Thursday after a cease and
desist issue was issued by the Tyngsboro Board of Health due to limitations
placed on public gatherings during the pandemic.
The auction was held
Thursday with a number of social distancing measures in place, Manning, said,
and Hanson said the Board of Health worked with the auctioneer to make sure the
plan was a good one.
Manning said the
social distancing measures included requiring all bidders to pre-register with
auctioneers to avoid contact via pens and tables; each bidder was allowed only
one attendee at the auction; each bidder was assigned a bidder number one by
one as they remained in their cars; once the actual auction began each bidder
was directed to stand near traffic cones that were arranged to keep them all
six feet apart; and each bidder, banker, lawyer and auctioneer present wore
masks and brought their own pens.
Manning said this
was the third large auction his firm has handled since the pandemic began.
"Buyers are active
because of the stock market," he said. "Real estate has historically been a
solid, tangible and reliable place to park money when the stock market shows
signs of instability."
Whether an auction
would occur was unclear for months as the property's holding company was in the
midst of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But last month, the company, Boston East
Tyngsboro Holdings LLC, filed a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy case.
The motion came on
the heels of a court order granting relief to the mortgage lender, Lowell Five
Bank, allowing the foreclosure auction to move forward.
Tyngsboro Holdings had requested a delay in order to finalize a sale to Cayan
Hospitality Group LLC, which put in a $5.3 million offer on the hotel. But
according to the April motion, the company was not able to secure a purchase
and sale agreement before the court issued its order granting relief to the
Lowell Five Bank.
Manning said the
Lowell Five Bank, the bank's attorneys and his auction staff ran the auction
practices were exercised by all involved in line with the currrent (Centers for
Disease Control) regulations and the Governor's orders," Manning said.
Abhijit "Beej" Das,
Boston East Tyngsboro Holdings LLC's signatory and resident agent, and a former
congressional candidate, did not return a message seeking comment.
Das' company has
managed the hotel since 2014, when it purchased the property for $4.25 million.
Since then, the hotel has twice fallen behind on its local taxes, according to