|By John Sharp, Journal Star, Peoria,
Ill.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 14, 2012--PEORIA -- Got some extra cash around the house? If so, feel free to head down to the Peoria County Courthouse on Wednesday and toss out a bid for a once prominent Central Peoria hotel.
You likely won't get the property. After all, the former owners owe the bank millions of dollars in two bank notes and, as one attorney says, the lender won't likely give it away for pocket change.
A public foreclosure auction is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Room 203 for the Grand Hotel, 4400 Brandywine Drive, formerly the Holiday Inn Brandywine.
"What typically happens is bidders are welcomed," said Charles Rock, an attorney representing HSBC Bank USA, the plaintiffs in a foreclosure case against the hotel's former owners, Fady & Fady Hospitality LLC. "But if no bidders are there, the lender will purchase the property and continue to operate it through the (management team) we have in place now."
He added, "They'll open for initial bids and it goes up to the highest bidder. Clearly, if you think about the process, the lender won't let it go for $1 or $100 or whatever. That's part of the lender's security. The lender will determine an amount they are willing to bid up to."
The foreclosure sale comes after a Jan. 24 ruling against Fady & Fady for owing $5.4 million on two unpaid bank notes. Rock said about $4.5 million was actually owed, and that the Fadys -- listed as Nazih and Nabil, according to court documents -- have since moved out of the facility.
Rock said he anticipates the hotel operating as is after the hearing is over.
"All plans are for the hotel to have continuous operations," he said. "We've been doing some improvements to the hotel and the goal is to sell it (Wednesday)."
The hotel is one of the largest in the area, with 240 rooms, opening in 1980 as one of Holiday Inn's "Holidome" outlets.
It's a full-service facility, with rooms, function and meeting space. But it's also had a hard time retaining a flag in the recent years, going from Holiday Inn to Ramada in 2004, and renamed the Grand Hotel in 2009.
The hotel also was a focal point in the City Council's expansion of its enterprise zone last year, offering tax breaks to developers for the purchase of drywall, flooring, tiles, or anything else that is used to improve a property.
In the early 1980s, the council, in a tight 4-3 vote, awarded its developer $1.7 million in financing to expand the hotel by 60 rooms and add parking. At that time, the council debated whether it made sense to aid a hotel expansion outside of the Downtown area.
John Sharp can be reached at 686-3282 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JohnSharp99.
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