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Downtown Norwich developer buys Thames Plaza at auction

By Claire Bessette

Publication: theday.com

Published May 03. 2014 2:25PM   Updated May 03. 2014 11:44PM

Norwich — For the second time in five months, downtown developer Scott Capano bid just one penny above the city’s minimum bid at today’s tax foreclosure auction of the vacant Thames Plaza office complex.

The city attorney had faxed its opening minimum bid of $233,700 to cover the taxes and interest owed to committee of sale attorney Gregg Wagman.

Capano was the lone other bidder at $233,700.01, and the auction closed on the office building located at 101 Water St. A new appraisal submitted to the court prior to the auction reduced the market value of the building to $350,000 from the previous value of $700,000.

This is the city’s second attempt to sell the building, owned by Norwich Harborview Corp. In November, Capano again was the lone bidder after the city and bid $219,002.01.

But attorney Edward Bona representing the owner filed objections in New London Superior Court saying the auction drew no bidders because it was held the same day as the city’s Winter Festival Parade, which included road closures and restrictions on parking. Judge Emmet Cosgrove scheduled a new auction for today.

The city’s minimum bid rose to reflect back taxes accrued since the Nov. 30 auction.

“No parade today,” Capano said after the auction concluded.

Capano, whose family owns the Harp & Dragon Pub on Main Street, a second adjacent building and ShopRite supermarket stores in Norwich and New London, bid under the name 101 Water St. LLC.

Capano said he has no specific plans for the building and will wait to see if the court approves the auction sale before making any decisions.

Wagman said he expects a court date within the next two weeks after he files the auction result.

c.bessette@theday.com

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