A foreclosure auction this past weekend didn’t do much to clear up what will become of La Renaissance Banquet & Conference Center facility in East Windsor.
An auction of the La Renaissance banquet drew one bid: the bank that is foreclosing on the property. Photo by Garret Alison/FoxCT
The one and only bidder was People’s United Bank, the bank that is foreclosing on the property. The bank bid about $1.7 million, according to Gus Constantine, the Glastonbury lawyer who oversaw the auction.
Constantine said the bank was forced to bid because the courts had ordered a foreclosure by sale for the now-closed banquet venue at 53-59 Prospect Hill Road.
It is now likely the bank will market and sell the property, Constantine said.
A People’s United spokeswoman did not immediately return a telephone calls this morning.
The current owners, Dharamshi LLC, had tried to sell the property in the months before Saturday’s auction but was unsuccessful.
Dharamshi paid $5.1 million for the banquet hall on eight acres in 2007. According to court documents, it fell into foreclosure in 2012. The venue closed earlier this year.
The most recent asking price for the property was $3.97 million. An appraisal last fall by People’s United pegged the value at $3.3 million.
Connecticut homes with foreclosure filings surged nearly 46 percent in July compared with a year ago, a new report today shows, as filings previously delayed when lenders were forced to tighten foreclosure procedures are again moving through the court system.
In July, Connecticut residential properties with filings rose to 2,247, according to a report from RealtyTrac, which tracks and markets properties in foreclosure. Connecticut logged the fourth highest increase in the nation in July and the sixth consecutive month with a year-over-year increase.
The jump in Connecticut compared with a 32 percent decrease nationwide, RealtyTrac reported.
The robo-signing scandal in October, 2010 involved some of the nation;s largest lenders, who signed off on foreclosure documents without verifying their accuracy. A wide-ranging investigation by state and federal officials resulted in settlements in the tens of billions. The investigation delayed foreclosures as lenders were forced to review and later change their procedures.
The delayed impacted Connecticut and other states with laws that calls for foreclosures to be handled by the courts. Roughly half the states in the country have such laws.
RealtyTrac has said it expects filings in Connecticut to increase through the rest of the year as delayed foreclosure filings enter the court system.
A foreclosure auction on the former La Renaissance Banquet & Conference Center has been pushed back for a third time to October, but a judge’s order indicates it could be the last such reprieve for the owners of the East Windsor property.
The owners of the La Renaissance Banquet & Conference Center have won another delay in a foreclosure auction. Photo by Garret Alison/FoxCT
The owner, Dharamschi LLC, has argued for extensions because it is negotiating with a potential buyer for the facility. The new auction date is Oct. 26.
Martin Levitz, a broker at Chozick Realty in Hartford, which has the La Renaissance listing, told me earlier this week that a potential buyer is conducting “due diligence” on the property. He declined to name the possible buyer.
According to the judge’s order filed in Superior Court in Hartford, “This is the final extension…No further extension requests will be permitted unless they are filed before Sept. 24, 2013 and heard on the Sept. 30, 2013 foreclosure calendar with the consent of all parties.”
It isn’t likely that People’s United Bank, which is pursuing the foreclosure, would agree to another extension. So far, the bank has objected to all the extensions.
Court documents show owner Dharamschi LLC paid $5.1 million for the property at 53-59 Prospect Hill Road in 2007. It fell into foreclosure in June 2012, the documents show.
The most recent asking price for the property is $3.97 million. An appraisal last fall by the foreclosing lender, People’s United Bank, pegged the value at $3.3 million.
Sales of Connecticut homes in foreclosure fell nearly 10 percent in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter, and the average price paid for those properties held steady, a new report today shows.
For Connecticut homes in foreclosure, the average price paid was $178,503, flat compared with the previous quarter and a 6.2-percent increase compared with the same quarter a year earlier, according to a report from foreclosure real estate data tracker and marketer RealtyTrac.
Despite that encouraging sign, the discount paid on the properties was 39 percent in the third quarter, the highest among all states. Nationally, the average sale price of a home in foreclosure was $167,095, representing an average discount of 30 percent.
Since the 1970s, La Renaissance’s grand entrance and chandelier have greeted guests attending thousands of weddings, proms, corporate meetings and other events.
East Windsor’s La Renaissance Banquet facility faces a foreclosure sale next month. Photo by Garett Allison/FoxCT
Now, as the East Windsor facility faces a foreclosure auction, at least a half-dozen potential buyers have lined up to bid on 27,000-square-foot banquet hall on eight acres.
Some, like Bruce Maneeley, owner of Maneeley Banquet & Conference Center in South Windsor, say the venue could continue its long tradition of hosting events.
“We definitely are interested,” Maneeley told me. “We haven’t been able to get into the building. People say it needs a lot of work: new roof, new parking lot.”
It isn’t likely that the Prospect Hill Road facility could be redeveloped for another use, commercial real estate experts said Monday. But a buyer may see potential for a different use, plans that could include demolishing the existing facility, they said.
R. Michael Goman, a broker at Goman + York Property Advisors in East Hartford, said the property would make a logical extension for retail development just to the north. The construction includes a Walmart supercenter.
“It could be a good retail site for somebody, a good hotel site, right on highway on an interchange,” Goman told me.
The long-stalled foreclosure sale of the old J.R. Montgomery mill complex in Windsor Locks for unpaid property taxes is now expected to go forward in three weeks, a little over a year after its owners filed for bankruptcy.
The owners, Canal Benk Realty, filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 9, 2011, a day before a foreclosure sale at which the town had hoped to recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes. The filing stopped the foreclosure sale; but in July, a Superior Court judge in Hartford ordered the sale to go forward.
A foreclosure sale for unpaid town property taxes is now set for Oct. 6. Photo Courtesy of the town of Windsor Locks.
The sale is now set for Oct. 6, beginning with a property inspection at 10 a.m. The town hopes to recoup $403,000 in property taxes and another $50,000 to cover the cost of fighting a fire that destroyed a portion of the 255,000-square-foot mill complex in 2006. The property’s appraised value is $900,000.
Previous attempts at redeveloping the mill have failed. But town officials still hope that a redevelopment of the mill, on the banks of the Connecticut River and the Windsor Locks Canal, into apartments or condominiums will trigger a broader transformation of the city’s downtown.
The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is near an area where the town proposed relocating a train platform as part of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail project.