The online auction of a Connecticut marina ends today. The Marina at American Wharf in Norwich can be purchased either in one piece or in subsections. As of 8:30 a.m. on Friday, the listing website shows no bids. Samantha Saturley Kelley, of CAI Tranzon Auction Properties, said she was not allowed to speak to the press about the auction, and city officials did not reply to a call.
TheDay.com reported that the sale is the result of Norwich’s “troubled relationship” with owner Joyal Capital Management. Joyal has had the marina property for sale for two years, with an asking price of $1.8 million. Potential buyers have come and gone. The company hired Tranzon to sell it online.
The marina, located at the head of the Thames River and mouth of the Yantic River, has 160 slips, a restaurant and an outdoor seating area.
According to the terms, the new owner has to reach an agreement with the city council to take over the remaining years on the original 99-year lease signed with marina developer Ronald Aliano in 1987.
Norwich Mayor Peter Nystrom told the newspaper that the city will respond “if and when” the marina owners inform the city of a pending sale. Nystrom said the city’s review of lease transfer would only ensure that the new buyer has the financial ability to operate the marina.
Nystrom and Robert Mills, president of the Norwich Community Development Corp., the city’s economic development agency, said they were surprised that they had not received any inquiries about the property.
Harbor Management Commission chairman H. Tucker Braddock told The Day that it is a “great opportunity” for someone who wants to invest in waterfront development. He added that the new owner would have to make some upgrades.
The newspaper reported that the relationship between the city and Joyal has become strained. Boaters have complained about the marina becoming deteriorated. The city council last summer threatened to find the owners in default of the lease, but Joyal paid all due lease payments.
The marina restaurant never opened this year. Fuel tanks at the marina were removed by state mandate after reaching a 30-year life span. However, they were never replaced, so boaters had to source their own fuel.
Louis Fusaro, who kept his boat at the marina, told The Day that the marina owners did not inform boaters of the auction. “I think it’s a good thing,” Fusaro said. “I don’t really think the current owner is that interested in running a marina. It was sad this year. They didn’t open the restaurant. It’s not that the previous restaurateur wasn’t interested in running it.”
The auction concludes today at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.