2017-03-30 / News

Former Shaw’s property remains under bank ownership

By Garrick Hoffman
Staff Writer


The former Shaw’s building, at 510 Alfred St. in Biddeford, Friday, March 24 before the auction of the property, with the auctioneer and the highest bidder at far right. Other bidders and curious lookers-on were present throughout the empty building. (Garrick Hoffman photo) The former Shaw’s building, at 510 Alfred St. in Biddeford, Friday, March 24 before the auction of the property, with the auctioneer and the highest bidder at far right. Other bidders and curious lookers-on were present throughout the empty building. (Garrick Hoffman photo) BIDDEFORD – The possession of the former Shaw’s Supermarket property has been reverted to Torchlight Loan Services, a bank servicing agent, after an auction was held at the site.

The foreclosed property, located at 510 Alfred St., is 55,899 square feet and is on about 8.29 acres, according to the property information package published by Keenan Auction Company, the company that hosted the March 24 auction.

Steph Keenan, auctioneer for Keenan Auction, said the property is being sold on an as-is, where-is basis, and is valued at more than $5 million.

Shaw’s, the property’s former tenant, moved out in 2015 and continued to pay rent until recently when its lease expired in February, Keenan said.

Stephanie Williams, an attorney for Duane Morris LLP in Portland, represented Torchlight at the auction and was the highest bidder at $4 million. The Boulos Company manages the property and will market it, she said.

Although Torchlight was the highest bidder, the property remains under the ownership of Biddeford-Investment Associate of Boise, Idaho, which has owned the property since 1997, Keenan said. That company has relinquished property rights to the bank, which provided loans to the company beginning in 2006.

The bank is a collective entity between Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan, according to the property information package.

Keenan said the bank wasn’t prepared to sell the property for less than $4 million. The bank will now list the property with a real estate agent and put it on the open market for a price yet to be determined.

Torchlight, the client of Keenan Auction Company, does legwork for mortgage holders, Keenan said. Banks have servicing companies do work for them and hire auctioneers and attorneys.

Williams said there has to be an amount above what the bank reserve is before the bank will sell the property. The bank reserve is the amount of money the bank wants for the property, though neither Williams nor Keenan disclosed the Torchlight’s desired amount.

Keenan said there is a real estate tax bill from fiscal year 2016-2017 that will be due April 12 to the city of Biddeford in the amount of $56,336. It will be the buyer’s responsibility to pay this amount if purchased. A public sewer bill will also need to be paid for, at slightly more than $392.

Annual real estate taxes from the property come to $112,673, the auctioneer said.

Williams said anything can happen now that the bank owns the property, and plans for the property are inconclusive since whomever purchases it from the bank will determine what it will become. As of now, the bank can close and own the property, but there are a lot of moving parts, she said.

“Assuming that nothing else transpires, the property will be deeded to the bank and it’ll be owned by the bank,” she said. “I can’t say when the closing will take place but it’ll be managed by Boulos and Boulos will market it as though they’re trying to sell a house, for example. This happens a lot where banks take property back at auctions and then they just put a stake in the ground and sell it. Somebody else comes along and there’s a purchase and sale agreement, and at that point the bank will take whatever that amount is.

“This is an unusual project because it’s so big, so I’m reticent to say XYZ will happen because there’s a lot of things that can happen even after an auction,” she said.

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