June 25, 2018
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New manager sought for midcoast properties

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

CAMDEN, Maine — A bank that holds a $14.7 million mortgage on some high-profile former MBNA properties in Camden and Lincolnville has filed an emergency motion in U.S. District Court in Portland asking that a third party be appointed to manage the properties because the owners can’t.

The Knox Mill in downtown Camden and the Ducktrap Retreat in Lincolnville, owned by Maryland-based Maine Investment Properties LLC and several limited liability companies based in Camden, are among the properties identified in court documents filed by an attorney for PNC Bank of Pittsburgh, Pa., March 18.

Magistrate Judge John H. Rich II ordered on March 19 that the defendants must respond to the emergency motion by Thursday, March 26.

Bank officials said in court documents that they sought to have Gray & Associates of Baltimore named by the court to manage the properties.

“Defendants are unable to properly manage and care for the mortgaged property and, absent the appointment of a receiver, the property will suffer waste, continue to create public hazards, and otherwise decline in value, all to the detriment of PNC,” said PNC Bank Vice President Blake Thompson in an affidavit dated March 16, 2009.

Some specific examples cited in the affidavit included:

ä Tenant Penobscot Bay Media advised the bank on Feb. 24 that one of the limited liability companies, 51 Mechanic Street LLC, had “failed to provide the mortgaged property with heating oil, and that the building was without heat.”

ä Jeffrey Nims, the Camden town planner and code enforcement officer, sent a letter on Jan. 28 to the management company of Knox Mills Properties “complaining that large pieces of the coating from smokestacks on the mortgaged property continue to fall on adjacent streets and the sidewalk, thereby creating a hazard to public safety.”

PNC Bank’s relationship with Maine Investment Properties and the other companies began in March 2007, after PNC merged with a mortgage corporation, Mercantile Mortgage Corp. of Baltimore, which had loaned Maine Investment Properties and the others $18,664,000 on Dec. 22, 2006.

Last December, the investment companies still owed the bank $14.7 million in unpaid principal, $264,605 in accrued interest, $34,790 in late charges and $1.47 million in attorneys’ fees, according to the emergency motion. The mortgage is in default, Thompson said.

The Knox Mill project is described on the Web site of WJS & Associates Inc. as a 200,000-square-foot historic mill complex, with 30 residential condominiums and 25,000 square feet converted into ground-floor retail. WJS & Associates is the business Web site of Walter Skayhan, an owner of Maine Investment Properties. The post-renovation value of the project is estimated at $27 million, according to the Web site.

Efforts to reach Skayhan on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Camden’s tax collector, Theresa Butler, said the Knox Mill properties’ 2009 property taxes total $236,445. As of March 16, the properties owed $3,528 in back taxes, and the second half of the year’s taxes is due May 1.

The court is expected to rule on the emergency motion after March 26.

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