Chelsea Groton Bank has asked the Superior Court to schedule another foreclosure sale of Spicer Mansion, Mystic’s boutique hotel that attracted a winning bid of $3.52 million at a public auction conducted in March.
The winning bidder, Ross Weingarten, has since failed to complete the purchase within the court-ordered time limit, the bank said in a filing in New London Superior Court on Tuesday. The bank also requested that Weingarten’s $367,000 deposit be forfeited.
In another filing on Wednesday, Chelsea Groton requested “expedited arbitration” of her claims.
“Plaintiff submits that the interests of justice dictate that a new sale date be assigned promptly and that the deposit be forfeited to interested parties,” wrote bank attorney Brian Rich.
Weingarten, owner of Sawyer Sheds in Plainfield and business associate of current hotel owner Brian Gates, said Wednesday he was still interested in the property.
“I am ready to move forward. Property has tremendous value,” he said. “I don’t want to say anything more right now.”
A New London Superior Court judge approved the outcome of the March 12 foreclosure sale on March 31, marking the start of a 30-day period in which Weingarten must close the case or waive his filing. . The period ended last week.
Gates continued to operate the eight-room hotel at 15 Elm Street on the Groton side of Mystic.
Chelsea Groton filed the foreclosure suit against Gates Realty Holdings in 2019, alleging that she defaulted on a $1.8 million mortgage the bank gave to Gates in 2015. Gates had secured the loan with collateral. second, third and fourth mortgages on his family’s residence at 116 Cove Road in Stonington, valued at $1.2 million, and commercial and residential properties he owns in Plainfield and Putnam.
Foreclosure sales on those properties, on hold pending the outcome of the Spicer Mansion sale, are now set to take place on May 21.
In another lawsuit involving Spicer Mansion, Gates’ attorney this week responded to the City of Groton’s latest request that Gates be disciplined for allegedly violating zoning regulations in his operation of the hotel.
On April 1, the city requested in a court filing that Gates be imprisoned, “as the financial penalty failed to deter the defendant’s repeated and deliberate conduct.” Earlier, a judge ruled the owners of Spicer Mansion could be punished for disregarding an order ordering them to stop operating a public restaurant and stop hosting weddings and other events in outdoors.
Gates’ attorney, Richard Malafronte, says his clients “deny all allegations” made by the city.
“Nowhere on the defendant’s website is it mentioned that the catering is open to the public, or that any use of the premises is open to the public. …”, writes Malafronte. “Mr. Gates will be able to testify that he made every effort not to induce the public to come to the Spicer Mansion for a dining experience, as it is only for Spicer Mansion patrons.”
The court has scheduled a hearing in the case on Tuesday.