An unidentified bidder won a highly regulated and socially distant auction for the Stonehedge Hotel and Spa on Thursday with a bid of $ 3 million, according to the auctioneer.
JJ Manning Auctioneers president Justin J. Manning said there were 11 bidders registered for the auction, which took place on the property at 160 Pawtucket Blvd., Tyngsboro, Thursday at 11 a.m. He said the property was sold for $ 2.85 million plus paying $ 150,000 in municipal liens.
Manning stated that the winning bidder was already in the hospitality industry, but his company did no more than that.
“We do not disclose any of the bidder’s contact information in our auctions,” he said.
Tyngsboro City Administrator Matt Hanson said Friday that he had not yet heard of the successful bidder, but that he expected him to arrive soon or once the property was closed. Hanson confirmed that approximately $ 150,000 in municipal liens are for tax arrears owed to the city.
The auction was originally scheduled for April, but has been postponed to Thursday after a cessation and forbearance problem issued by the Tyngsboro Board of Health due to restrictions on public gatherings during the pandemic.
The auction took place Thursday with a number of social distancing measures in place, said Manning, and Hanson said the Board of Health had worked with the auctioneer to make sure the plan was good.
Manning said that the social distancing measures included the requirement for all bidders to pre-register with auctioneers to avoid contact via pens and tables; each bidder was entitled to only one participant in the auction; each bidder was assigned a number one per bidder while he was in his car; once the auction started, each bidder was asked to stand near the traffic cones which were arranged to keep them every six feet from each other; and each bidder, banker, lawyer and auctioneer present wore masks and brought their own pens.
Manning said it was his company’s third major auction since the start of the pandemic.
“Buyers are active because of the stock market,” he said. “Real estate has always been a solid, tangible and reliable place to park money when the stock market shows signs of instability.”
It was not possible to determine if an auction would take place for months because the property management company was in the middle of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But last month the company, Boston East Tyngsboro Holdings LLC , filed a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy case.
The motion came after a court order gave relief to the mortgage lender, Lowell Five Bank, allowing the auction to continue.
Boston East Tyngsboro Holdings asked for time to finalize a sale to Cayan Hospitality Group LLC, which made a $ 5.3 million offer on the hotel. But according to the April motion, the company was unable to enter into a buy and sell agreement before the court issued its relief order for Lowell Five Bank.
Manning said the Lowell Five Bank, the bank’s lawyers and its auction staff conducted the auction “precisely”.
“Responsible practices have been exercised by all parties concerned in accordance with existing regulations (Centers for Disease Control) and the governor’s orders,” said Manning.
Abhijit “Beej” Das, signatory and resident agent for Boston East Tyngsboro Holdings LLC, and a former congressional candidate, did not return a message requesting comment.
Das has managed the hotel since 2014, when it purchased the property for $ 4.25 million. Since then, the hotel has twice fallen behind on its local taxes, according to city officials.