Bank prevails in auction for Greg’s property
MIDDLEBURY — Around a half-dozen bidders showed up at the former Greg’s Meat Market at 3 Elm St. in Middlebury this past Wednesday in hopes of acquiring it, and the adjacent Pool World property, at bargain-basement prices.
But in the end, according to one of the local bidders, TD Bank consolidated its ownership of the Greg’s and Pool World properties with a high bid of $497,000. TD Bank held the mortgage on Greg’s after its most recent co-owner, Bart Litvin, filed for bankruptcy protection last year. The bank will now determine how it wants to market the property.
The two properties were available individually, or as a package, at the March 2 auction, according to the listings at Tranzon.com.
Local businessmen Tony Neri and Joe Cotroneo were among the bidders present for the auction. Cotroneo owns Middlebury Discount Beverage located next door to Greg’s, and Neri owns real estate throughout town, including in Middlebury’s industrial park off Exchange Street.
Neri said the TD Bank bid was substantially higher than the other offers.
He is among those who believe that the Greg’s property should return to its former use.
“This building has to go back to being a store,” Neri said, adding the store could recapture a loyal clientele that would include many of the 300 to 400 workers in the nearby industrial park.
Greg’s Meat Market had been in continuous operation under that name as an independently owned grocery store for 34 years, until April 1 of last year. That’s when Litvin closed the store, stating that revenues were not keeping pace with debt obligations.
Litvin and Lisa Hartman had purchased the store from longtime owner Greg Wry in December of 2009. It was Wry who established the supermarket in place of Stan’s Shop & Save back in 1981. Wry, who financed some of Litvin’s purchase, suffered a substantial financial loss after Litvin’s bankruptcy filing.
Several prospective buyers have taken a look at the property, but none have elected to take it on. Middlebury town officials have noted the store was left with some food still in the freezers. The Greg’s building will need substantial repairs if it is to be reclaimed and reused, according to those officials.
The March 2 auction was run by representatives of Tranzon Auction of Portland, Maine. Repeated efforts to reach auctioneer Jill Daviero, who helped coordinate the auction on behalf of Tranzon, were unsuccessful as the Addison Independent went to press on Friday.
The Greg’s property consists of a 6,602-square-foot building that sits on roughly a third of an acre. It is currently valued by the town at $493,500, according to municipal land records.
The Pool World property includes a 2,000-square-foot building on seven-tenths of an acre. It is currently assessed at $223,600, according to town records.
Cotroneo owns most of the parking lot that sits between his Middlebury Discount Beverage building and the Greg’s and Pool World properties.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected]