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Bank high bidder for West Carthage hotel

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WEST CARTHAGE — The commercial lender that helped finance the Pleasant Night Inn here was the high bidder Tuesday for the property at foreclosure auction.

Community Bank NA, DeWitt, placed the lone bid of $1,328,000 for the 2-year-old hotel at 30 N. Broad St. during a public auction at the Jefferson County Court Complex in Watertown. Jeffrey S. Shambo, Brantingham, had opened the 40-room hotel, complete with a fitness room ,in May 2010.

Michael J. Brassard, vice president and special assets officer for Community Bank, said the amount bid was below what the bank is owed, but the bank now will market the property for sale. He said “several” potential buyers have expressed interest.

“We will find a buyer. We just need to have to find the right number,” he said.

The hotel is in receivership and is being operated by Longley Jones Management Corp., Syracuse. Mr. Brassard said it is Community Bank’s intention to keep the hotel operating, using current employees, until a sale can be made.

“That’s been our goal all along, to keep the property active and running,” he said.

Mr. Brassard said the bank believes the business is viable as a hotel, although it could benefit from operating as a franchise under a national hotel chain. “That would help get some nice exposure for the property,” he said.

A buyer of the property would have to satisfy several liens on it. Loans totaling $525,000 administered through the Development Authority of the North Country were obtained through the North Country Alliance in the amount of $125,000, the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency for $250,000 and the Economic Development Corporation of Carthage, $150,000, which were used to help pay for construction of the $3.4 million hotel.

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