Foreclosure for Newfane's Four Columns Inn
NEWFANE -- This week, 181 years of Newfane history will go on the auction block.
A public foreclosure sale is scheduled for noon Thursday at the historic Four Columns Inn, 21 West St. The inn closed several months ago, and officials are hoping the sale might spark some interest in the sprawling property.
"We absolutely do hope to see somebody take it on with the prospect of reopening it," said Jon Mack, Newfane Selectboard chairman.
The Four Columns dates to 1832 and is both a local and regional landmark. Its long list of guests famously included Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who reportedly celebrated a birthday there in the early 1980s.
The inn and restaurant changed hands in 2004, with Bruce and Debbie Pfander taking over. Reports at the time indicated that they had undertaken a top-to-bottom renovation.
But the inn ceased operating this spring and closed for good in May. Both the inn's phone and a local number for Bruce Pfander have been disconnected.
A notice of foreclosure lists Pfander Realty LLC as the current owner and Peoples United Bank as the holder of the mortgage.
The scheduled auction includes all "goods, equipment, furniture, fixtures, supplies, tools, machinery, general intangibles and other items of personal property associated with the operation of the property," the bank's notice says.
The property itself is expansive, consisting of approximately 138 acres, according to an online auction notice. Listed features include:
-- 4,700-square-foot main building with nine guest rooms.
-- 6,500-square-foot reception/restaurant building with six guest rooms.
-- 1,900-square-foot owner's residence and management office.
-- Outdoor pool.
-- Shed with emergency generator powering the kitchen.
The bank's notice makes clear that the property will be sold to the highest bidder in "as-is" condition, with prospective buyers encouraged to perform their own due diligence.
A buyer also would be responsible for payment of all taxes due.
That number is rising. According to Newfane records, delinquent taxes now stand at $26,379, and Town Clerk Gloria Cristelli said the next tax payment is due in mid-October.
Cristelli also noted that the town office has received a bankruptcy filing associated with the property, though the document has not been officially recorded because a recording fee was not paid.
Mack said he had heard of one party expressing interest in purchasing the property, "but they backed away."
He's not sure town officials can do much aside from hope that the inn attracts another investor.
"It certainly is extremely desirable for the town to have that in operation," Mack said. "From an economic perspective, it's a very key property."
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.
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