A bankruptcy judge court will hold a hearing on May 1 to determine if the 117-year-old Attleboro, Mass. club’s property should be sold to one of the current bidders, but a court trustee said it’s expected that more offers could be received at the courthouse. The highest bid currently received for the club, which has debt of around $1.7 million that must be paid off by the buyer, was reported to be $2.1 million.
The opportunity to acquire the bankrupt Highland Country Club in Attleboro, Mass. has attracted four more bidders, The Sun Chronicle of North Attleboro, Mass. reported, bringing the total to seven, after three filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on the deadline day, April 25, and another filed the previous day.
A bankruptcy court judge will now hold a hearing on May 1 to determine whether to allow sale of the property to one of the seven bidders to pay off Highland’s debt of around $1.7 million, The Sun Chronicle reported. But court trustee Warren Agin said it’s expected the sale will proceed and that more bidding will take place on May 1 at the courthouse.
The judge will have the final decision on who the buyer will be, Agin said.
C&RB had reported on the initial three bids earlier in April (http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2018/04/city-weighs-bids-highland-cc/).
The highest bid from among the seven now received, The Sun Chronicle reported, came in at $2.1 million from Highland Preserve, LLC, a company that apparently was formed specifically to buy the property.
Highland Preserve, The Sun Chronicle reported, is owned by John G. Walsh Jr., former owner of the Attleboro firm Walsh Contracting, which is now run by his son, John G. Walsh III.
According to state records, The Sun Chronicle reported, Highland Preserve filed organization papers on April 25th, the same day bids were due.
Other companies filing bids on the 25th, The Sun Chronicle reported, included RRSP Acquisitions out of Warwick, R.I., which offered $2 million and home builder W.B. Construction and Development, which is headquartered in Seekonk, Mass. but has built many homes in Attleboro.
W.B. Construction bid $1.830 million, The Sun Chronicle reported.
Tamposi Brothers Holdings, LLC, a development company out of Florida that focuses on the construction of single-family homes and condominiums, according to its website, filed on the day before the deadline and bid $2 million, The Sun Chronicle reported.
Those bids joined the three earlier ones received from David Doran, owner of Doranco of Attleboro, who offered $1.825 million; North Attleboro car dealer Joseph Ruggiero Sr., who bid of $1.8 million, and NARG, LLC, a real estate investment company from Hyannis, Mass., which offered $1.7 million.
Highland CC is located on 93 acres in the heart of the city of Attleboro, The Sun Chronicle noted, and the city’s planning department has estimated that as many as 131 homes could be built on the property, which is zoned for residential use.
The city has a filing with the court to assert its “right of first refusal” on the property, and Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux has said the city would “consider” buying the property if that right is confirmed by the court, The Sun Chronicle reported.
Agin, the Bankruptcy Court trusteed, told The Sun Chronicle that issue is also expected to be resolved on May 1. If allowed by the judge, the city could eventually match the highest bid and buy the property itself, and would have 120 days to make that decision.
The Sun Chronicle reported previously that Mayor Heroux had said he’s aware of a number of people interested in the property, including one who Heroux described as a “philanthropist” who requested anonymity and might leave it as “open space” after acquiring it. Heroux added that he would support that proposal.
Heroux added previously that most people don’t want to see houses built on the property, which has been a golf course for 117 years and before that was a farm. And while it could now be a beautiful neighborhood, it could also create budget woes because residential property taxes in Attleboro don’t cover the cost of a child’s education in public schools.
When the 117-year-old Highland CC filed for bankruptcy in January, The Sun Chronicle reported, it became the second golf course Attleboro to go out of business since 2016.
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