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.
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.
Some residents remain skeptical, however, saying previous attempts at developing the mill site were unsuccessful. The complex, some argue, should just be razed.
Patrick McMahon, Windsor Lock’s economic development consultant, told me today the town doesn’t intend to submit an initial bid to set a minimum bid. But the town hopes, at the least, to recoup the unpaid taxes and the costs of fighting the fire, McMahon said.
The courts must approve the winning bid.
Attorney Eric Rothauser of BoneeWeintraub in West Hartford has been appointed by the court to handle the sale.
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