ADAMS -- A condemned town motel may soon be auctioned off, as the court-appointed receiver of the Dug-Out Motel says his work is finished and nobody's paying.
In Pittsfield housing court Monday, New York attorney Douglas Rose, receiver of the 99 Howland Ave. motel, was granted permission to sell the property on public auction as early as this summer.
Neither the owner, Shoba Inc., nor the mortgaging bank, Bayview Loan Servicing, has reimbursed Rose the $15,000 in expenses he incurred while running the motel during his receivership, which began in December.
"I'm not trying to make any money out of this," Rose said in an interview Friday. "If someone bids $15,001, they're going to get it."
The motel was ordered vacated by the town Board of Health in November due to flagrant sanitary concerns and state building code violations, and the managers were expelled from the premises.
Rose essentially acted as landlord while Berkshire Regional Housing Authority, town employees and several nonprofits and church groups worked at rehousing the 27 tenants locally. The building was fully vacated by March.
According to Rose, Shoba is suing Guravtar Enterprises over the title. Shoba, a Sharma family corporation, had been leasing operation of the motel to Guravtar Enterprises since 2009. Avtar and Gurinder Baweja own the latter corporation.
Rose said Shoba now has 45 days to act.
"If I'm still not paid, I then run ads in the newspaper for three weeks," he said. "After that, [licensed auctioneer] Fred Hobart enters the frame. ... It's just like a foreclosure."
Rose said he and a town Realtor assessed the building and came away with a value of "$100,000 on a sunny day."
The Dug-Out's taxes were all paid.
"Of all the sins committed [by the owners and operators], they always paid taxes," Rose said.
The court set terms for a potential sale.
Prospective bidders have access to any outstanding fees and expenses; Rose must apply to the court to confirm any sale and report the cost of the sale; and, in the case that the auction nets more than $15,000, the surplus is to be placed in an escrow subject to any application by Shoba, Guravtar, Bayview, or any combination of those parties.
Many of the motel's 15 rooms were in a decrepit state when it was condemned. Floorboards reportedly are rotting, doors broken, carpets soiled and the building is without carbon-monoxide or smoke detectors. Town Code Enforcement Scott Koczela previously estimated that a sizable capital investment into the building would be necessary before it could reopen in any capacity.
To reach Phil Demers, email