ADAMS -- Hoosac Bank announced plans to publicly auction the Jones Block and an adjacent building last week, but the property's New York owner said Thursday that he'll attempt to stop the "arbitrary sale."
Polonia Restoration president Gerry Sanchez also said he was never notified of the bank's intent.
"Talk about due process -- how can you take someone's property without giving him notice?" Sanchez said. "This is unbelievable."
The on-site auction, scheduled for Jan. 24 at 1:30 p.m., intends to take 39-45 Park St. out of Sanchez's company's hands for stopping payments on a mortgage dated Jan. 30, 2008, according to the bank's public notice in the Wednesday, Dec. 26, edition of the Transcript.
"We understand that this is an important building for the town and hope this can push it along in its evolution to becoming a valuable space for downtown," Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at Hoosac Bank Ryan Leap said Wednesday.
Leap limited his comments due to outstanding litigation in the form of "claims and counterclaims related to the foreclosure process."
But Sanchez, in correspondence with the Transcript on Thursday, said "somehow [the auction] won't happen."
He plans to contact a Massachusetts lawyer over the matter today, and would ultimately like to have another local bank buy up his mortgage from Hoosac so that the company can finish redeveloping the 113-year-old Park Street space under a new payment
According to Sanchez, his company doesn't have enough free capital to afford a $250,000 accelerated loan payment that Hoosac Bank demands.
"The main, although not the only, reason for technical default and legal acceleration of the mortgage [given by the bank was]: ‘Non-notification that loan Guarantor [Zoraida Gonzalez, of Polonia] and owner of Borrower's shares of stock passed away,' " Sanchez wrote in an earlier message.
He also claimed that the building won't sell on auction, putting the bank in line for a "windfall." Polonia has invested $1 million into the interior, he claims, while another $1 million was invested into the exterior by the town -- both per a 2008 agreement.
Sanchez bought 113-year-old building from Adams and the adjacent building from Thomas and Noella Carlow for $100,000 and $480,000, respectively, in 2007. Polonia's agreement with the town aimed to see the project complete in late 2009. Much interior work remains.
If Sanchez is to retain the property, communication with the town would have to be re-established.
"We've had what amounts to no communication with Mr. Sanchez for quite some time, and not much for two years," Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said Thursday.
Butler was optimistic about the prospect of working with a new partner, if the building is sold at auction.
"We have a lot of resources and energy and can offer any assistance to help fit [a buyer] into the bigger picture in Adams," Butler said. " ... We're happy that the bank is moving in a direction that will get these properties into the hands of people who can move forward with redevelopment."
Early this year, Polonia resumed work in the building for a short period. Tax payments have since ended, and the town claims Polonia has not responded to its inquiries or the tax collector's. A finished project was supposed to have brought new apartments and at least three businesses to Adams.
To reach Phil Demers, email