|By David P. Greisman, The Keene Sentinel,
N.H.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 07, 2010--The listing has been all-too-common in this economic downturn. What it refers, to, however, raised eyebrows.
"Notice of Foreclosure Sale," it reads. The property being foreclosed? The E.F. Lane Hotel in downtown Keene.
The auction, it says, is July 28 -- three weeks away.
Hotel management says it won't happen.
"Bottom line is: There may be a notice in there, but the owner has an attorney out of Manchester working on this," Christine Giroux, general manager of the E.F. Lane Hotel, said Tuesday.
"There will be no foreclosure," Giroux said. "The owner will pay off the balance on what is owed."
How much is owed is unclear. Rand S. Burnett, the Keene attorney representing the hotel's mortgage holder, would not say the amount of money owed or how far behind the hotel is with its payments.
Burnett represents CRF-19, LLC, an offshoot of the Minneapolis-based Community Reinvestment Fund Inc. According to its website, Community Reinvestment Fund provides loans to nonprofit community development lenders.
The original construction mortgage for the hotel came from the Keene Economic Development and Revitalization Corp., the predecessor to Monadnock Economic Development Corp.
Monadnock Economic Development Corp., a Keene-based private nonprofit development group, helps direct funding to some area construction projects.
The principal on the mortgage, taken out in 1998, was $946,400, according to county records.
Burnett would not say what the relationship is between Monadnock Economic Development Corp. and CRF-19, only that the legal rights of the mortgage have been transferred to CRF-19.
Documents filed with the Cheshire County Registry of Deeds show a chain of recent transfers that ended with CRF-19 holding the mortgage rights.
On June 1, the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority -- which administers money for community economic development efforts -- assigned the mortgage rights to Monadnock Economic Development Corp.
The Keene group, in turn, transferred the mortgage rights to Community Reinvestment Fund Inc. And Community Reinvestment Fund Inc. transferred the rights to CRF-19.
The upscale 40-room, 39,800-square-foot hotel opened in 2001 in what was long a downtown department store.
The hotel and its land have an assessed value of $2.1 million, according to city records.
The property tax bill goes to E.F. Lane Hotel LLC -- which is registered to Someplaces Different Inc.
That company is listed as being out of Exeter. Its phone number was disconnected.
A phone call left at the E.F. Lane Hotel seeking comment from its owner was not returned. Monadnock Economic Development Corp. President John G. Dugan also did not return calls seeking comment.
As for the hotel?
"We are going to take reservations, same as ever," said Giroux, the general manager. "Our employees are going to stay here, same as ever."
It is up to CRF-19, however, to choose whether to accept the back payments and call off the foreclosure sale, Burnett said.
David Greisman can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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