CAPE COD TIMES - Scenic View Motel in Bourne sold at auction
By Beth Treffeisen
BUZZARDS BAY - As cars zoomed
down Scenic Highway Thursday morning, only two bidders stood outside the former
Scenic View Motel for the chance to own two parcels overlooking the Cape Cod
The parcels - a 1.4-acre site
that includes the dilapidated and shuttered Scenic View Motel at 871 Scenic
Highway, and 1.9 acres of undeveloped land that panhandles the motel - were
sold for $305,000, far less than the assessed value of the properties.
The winning bidder was Carol
Toomey, publisher of The Action Unlimited, a weekly advertising publication
based in Concord.
"I haven't got any plans,"
Toomey said after the auction. She said she was hoping to rehab the motel, but
didn't think it would be feasible after seeing it in its current condition.
A former Bourne resident,
Toomey said she bought the property in the hopes of returning.
"I want to get back to
Bourne," she said.
Toomey said she has no plans
to open another motel at the location, but she said, "It is a beautiful piece
At the auction, the starting
price of $500,0000 quickly spiraled downward. The price fell to $250,000 before
the second bidder made a move.
"This is not a reverse
auction," auctioneer Justin Manning said.
In May, town meeting approved
a zoning change for the motel from a Scenic Development District to Village
Business District. The change gave the go-ahead for a future owner to tear down
the 120-year-old structure to make way for new development.
According to the Multiple
Listing Service, the property was originally put up for sale last year for
$850,000. The Scenic Highway property is assessed at $743,900, and the Herring
Pond property is assessed at $311,400, according to town assessing records.
"It is a great development
site," Manning said before the property was put up to bid. "It has canal views,
and it can only get better."
The property needs a lot of
TLC, but Manning said it is in a high-traffic area. Plus, he said, there has
never been a better time to work and live on the Cape than now. There has been
a renaissance of people coming back to the Cape because "we are already
distanced," he said.
The properties also have a
municipal lien of about $17,300 that the new owner will have to pay off,Manning said.
The auction was postponed a
number of times due to delays in bankruptcy filings and a pending sale that was
put off, Manning said.
The Scenic View Motel, which
was built in 1900 and has fallen into disrepair in recent years, had a rocky
relationship with the town before it was shut down.
Health officials discovered
the body of a 63-year-old man in the motel in July 2019. Soon after, the Board
of Health deemed the establishment unfit for human habitation and ordered that
it be vacated.
There were 26 repeat
violations against the motel, including those pertaining to unsanitary
conditions, failure to follow the town's blight regulations, the need to
exterminate insects, rodents and skunks, failure to maintain structural
elements and failure to maintain the minimum standard for habitation for kitchen
and bathroom facilities.
In August 2019, the Board of
Health fined A.J. Michael Realty LLC, the owner at the time, $100 per day
dating back to early March of that year for not following local health
regulations, and an additional $500 per day dating back to July 2019 for not
following the state's sanitary code. The fines accrued until the property was
secured and vacated.
At the time, owner Dennis
Waitekunas said the motel was losing $100,000 a month by being closed down.
With the fines tacked on, he said, A.J. Michael Realty eventually would have
Paint America Inc., which
lists Waitekunas as president and treasurer, bought the motel in 2003 for more
than $1 million, according to assessors records and the state corporation
database. The property was transferred in 2005 to A.J. Michael Realty for
Manning said residents would
like to see something done with the property, which has been vacant since last
summer, now home only to weeds, litter and rusting outdoor furniture.