PORTLAND — Expensive condominiums that were created out of a historic West End church property are headed to the auction block.

The Williston-West Condominiums at 32 Thomas St. will be auctioned Feb. 15 to satisfy a $1.4 million debt to Camden National Bank, according to a notice at the Cumberland County Registry of Deeds.

Bidders are required to deposit $25,000, according to an online ad published by Tranzon Auction Properties.

Five residential condominiums, a mix of two- and three-bedroom units, were also listed through the Sullivan Real Estate Group, priced from $620,000 to $1.15 million, according to the company website. There are also two condominiums that can be used for commercial purposes.

While a sign on the property indicates the buildings are under contract, real estate broker Bill Sullivan said Jan. 31 the sale contract was signed three or four months ago, and the deal has not closed.

Sullivan directed other questions about the property to Bernstein Shur attorney Tony Perkins, who represents Australian businessman Frank Monsour of 32 Thomas Street LLC.

On Monday, Perkins declined comment on the impending auction, which would be averted if a sale closes before the auction date.

The Williston-West sanctuary was built in 1877 from a design by Francis Fassett. The parish house, designed by John Calvin Stevens, was built in 1905. The buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.

The property was sold to Monsour in 2011, for $658,000, according to city tax records. The sale came after the congregation had merged with the Immanuel United Church at 156 High St.

After the sale, city councilors on June 18, 2012, approved a zoning change by a 6-3 vote that allowed a conditional commercial use on the property for Monsour’s planned software development company.

The property was previously zoned only for residential use.

The council vote was overturned Dec. 31, 2013, by a Cumberland County Superior Court lawsuit brought by neighborhood residents. But the lower court decision was overturned by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Oct. 16, 2014.

The condominiums were granted a certificate of occupancy by the city on Dec. 7, 2017. On Jan. 30, Jill Daviero of Tranzon Auction Properties said none of the condos are occupied.

Records at the Cumberland County Registry of Deeds show Monsour took out the mortgage with Camden Nation on March 23, 2017.

The mortgage was then subordinated, or assigned, to include a group of investors who would only be allowed payments from 32 Thomas Street LLC after the debt to Camden National Bank is repaid. They are Marc Powers, Vandelay Enterprises LLC, DiMillo’s Old Port Marina and Coastal Capital Realty LLC.

The property, to be auctioned as is, is valued by the city at $1.16 million. Current property taxes are $26,000, but the $13,000 payment due Sept. 21, 2018, is outstanding. With interest, it is now $13,400. The remaining tax balance is due March 8.

The property was also subject to liens placed by the city in 2013, 2016 and 2018 for partially unpaid property taxes. Each lien was more than $6,000, and all have been discharged.

David Harry can be reached at 780-9092 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

The former Williston-West Church on Thomas Street in Portland, converted to condos several years ago, faces a foreclosure auction Feb. 15.


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