Local auction 

Spicer Mansion goes for less than $3.1 million at second auction

Mystic — A Guilford-based entity holding mortgages on Spicer Mansion on Saturday signed a contract to buy the hotel for $3,050,000 after submitting the winning bid at a public sale.

MMP Holdings LLC outbid Walter “Sonny” Glaser Jr., the owner of the Steamboat Inn, and Tim Owens, an Avon chiropractor who owns property in Stonington and Watch Hill.

About two dozen people watched attorney Aimee Siefert conduct the bidding in front of Spicer Mansion.

Glaser and Owens also had bids at a March auction for the boutique hotel, which current owner Gates Realty Holdings continues to operate. The winning bidder of the previous auction, Ross Weingarten, a business partner of Gates Realty director Brian Gates, did not complete the purchase, leading to Saturday’s replay.

Weingarten’s winning bid was $3.52 million. The three-story, eight-bedroom hotel, which Gates Realty opened in 2016 after investing millions in renovations, had an estimated value of $3.67 million.

On Saturday, Owens kicked off the auction with a bid of $2,060,000. Glaser then offered $2.1 million before Joshua Cohen, an attorney representing MMP Holdings, offered $3,050,000.

Cohen declined to identify the person or persons behind MMP Holdings and said it was “too early to tell” what his client planned to do with the property.

According to state records, MMP Holdings’ agent is Madeleine Perricone.

Cohen said MMP Holdings holds second and third mortgages on Spicer Mansion. Chelsea Groton Bank, which holds the first mortgage, sued Gates Realty in 2019, alleging it owed the bank approximately $1.8 million.

At the time, foreclosure sales of Spicer Mansion and four other properties owned by Gates were looming.

Later, however, planned sales of the other four properties, including Gates’ Stonington residence, were canceled after Gates filed for Chapter 11 creditor protection.

Chelsea Groton successfully argued in bankruptcy court that Spicer Mansion’s second auction attempt should go ahead.

Worth Avenue Capital, which is financing MMP Holdings’ purchase of Spicer Mansion, was represented at Saturday’s auction by its manager, Michael Ciaburri, who also declined to comment on the future of the property. Ciaburri was chairman, CEO and co-founder of The Bank of Southern Connecticut in New Haven, which merged with Middletown-based Liberty Bank in 2013.

MMP Holdings and Worth Avenue Capital have the same address in Guilford: 171 Old Sachems Head Road.

Weingarten, the winning bidder of the first Spicer Mansion auction, is seeking to recover the $367,000 deposit he lost when he failed to find his $3.52 million bid balance of dollars. He is taking the case to the State Court of Appeals.

“The appellant (Weingarten) made an offer on the property at the request of Brian Gates convinced by Brian Gates that a third party would purchase the Spicer Mansion,” Weingarten’s attorney Frank Liberty wrote last week in a file in the case.

It was not until the third party pulled out that Weingarten sought legal representation, on the advice of Gates, by which time the deadline for closing the purchase had expired, Liberty wrote.

Chelsea Groton argues Weingarten lacks standing in the case and the court should dismiss her appeal.

Once a judge approves Saturday’s foreclosure sale, MMP Holdings will have no less than 20 days and no more than 30 days to complete its purchase of Spicer Mansion.

[email protected]

Related posts