Three former Burger King sites sell for combined $2.8 million at auction


PITTSFIELD -- The three former Pittsfield area Burger King restaurants have two new owners after the buildings and land were sold at auction on Wednesday.

The three properties owned by Richard C. George of Pittsfield were sold separately at foreclosure auctions by TD Bank. All three sold for a combined $2.8 million.

A Berkshire County man bought the ones on First Street and Pittsfield Road (Route 7 & 20) in Lenox, while J. Leo Barry of Plainville purchased the one on Merrill Road.

Barry is an employer trustee of the Hallamore Corp. of Holbrook, which specializes in rigging, heavy hauling, crane rentals, and specialty contracting, according to the company's website.

Both Barry and the man who purchased the two restaurants declined to identify themselves or speak with the media. Barry did not bid on the other two properties.

The new owner of the two former Burger Kings on First Street and Pittsfield Road did say that more information on what was planned for those properties would be available soon.

"I want the dust to settle," he said.

The Merrill Road restaurant was sold for $1.275 million, and the First Street eatery for $825,000. The Pittsfield Road property, which included the restaurant and an adjacent laundromat, went for $700,000.

Bidders were required to deposit a $25,000 cashiers check with Tranzon Auction Properties in order to participate.

The new owners are required to pay 10 percent of the purchase price within five days, and the full balance within 45 days after receiving their deeds.

They are also responsible for any outstanding tax revenue that George owed on the three sites.

As of Wednesday, taxes owed on the Merrill Road restaurant totaled $39,029. The First Street site, which includes four parcels, is $32,096 in arrears, according to the Pittsfield tax collector's office. George owes $51,179 in back taxes on the Pittsfield Road property, according to the town of Lenox.

George held a single mortgage on all three properties with TD Bank, but an auction was held at each of the three sites.

The three former Burger Kings closed abruptly in June after George fell too far behind on his franchise payments to Burger King Corporation. At that point, TD Bank initiated foreclosure proceedings against George in September in Berkshire Superior Court.

Wednesday's three auctions were the final step in the legal foreclosure process. The foreclosure auctions took place as scheduled after George's last-minute attempt to sell the three eateries to a single buyer fell through.

Attorney Peter L. Puciloski of Great Barrington, who represents TD Bank, said the net total of the three sales was about what the bank expected and would cover what George owed the bank.

"They were surprised at how much the first property went for, and how little [the Lenox property] went for, but it's enough to cover it," he said.

Richard George originally owed TD Bank $2.5 million on the note for the three properties when papers were initially filed in Superior Court. Interest, legal fees, and auction fees have increased the amount of that sum since then, but an exact total was unavailable on Wednesday.

Bidding started on the Merrill Road property at $500,000, on the First Street site at $200,000 and in Lenox at $300,000.

Richard George had been involved with Burger King since 1979. The Merrill Road eatery was Burger King's first restaurant in Berkshire County.


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