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Waterford Speedbowl hits the open market at a cost of $3.3M

By Tess Townsend

Publication: The Day

Published April 17. 2014 4:00AM
Foreclosure proceedings won't affect racing schedule

Waterford — The Waterford Speedbowl is up for sale.

The racetrack at 1080 Hartford Turnpike appeared on real estate website Zillow.com five days ago, with an asking price of $3.3 million.

Owner Terry Eames said he listed the property with agents Joe Luca, of RE/MAX, and Kenneth Dill, of Cresa Corporate Real Estate, within the past two weeks, as part of foreclosure proceedings on the property.

"I'm not happy about it in that my goal is to keep it as a racetrack," said Eames. "I can tell you, this racing season will go on for this season. It's not going to curtail operations."

Eames said he is looking for a new partner to finance the property so he can keep it. He said he was in conversation with prospective investors but would not share any names.

Rocco Arbitell, one of the mortgage holders on the property, motioned for foreclosure last year. Arbitell's business associate Peter Borrelli is the other mortgage holder.

Judge Emmet Cosgrove handed down a judgment of foreclosure in January, with an auction date of Oct. 18. The order states that Eames owes his creditors $1.2 million in debt and attorney fees.

The amount is greater when interest is taken into account, according to Bill McCoy, attorney for Arbitell and Borrelli, who together provided financing to Eames in 2007 so he could avoid foreclosure at that time.

McCoy said the prospect of Eames finding new financing to keep the property doesn't bother his clients.

"My clients simply want to be paid the money they're owed and they are open to whatever avenues do that," he said.

On April 3, the plaintiffs filed a motion for advice, requiring that Eames advertise the property. McCoy said the motion is routine and that its purpose is to ensure the property receives exposure both to wider audiences through advertising in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, and to the racing community, through publications such as trade magazines.

The description of the property on Zillow reads: "This is currently being operated as a NASCAR sanctioned racetrack. Redevelopment opportunities abound: affordable housing, retail, industrial, distribution center and light manufacturing. There is no evidence of environmental issues."

Eames said the language does not reflect any desire on his part to sell the property.

"That's really the nature of the real estate business. The agents that have the listing, they word that listing to increase their chances of finding a buyer," he said. "It's my personal goal to keep it as a racetrack, but the listing is not - how can I say it? - is not limited in any way."

He said he doesn't know how the Speedbowl community is reacting to news of him listing the property because "it's new enough information that I can't really gauge that."

t.townsend@theday.com

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