New owner holding Stable Inn yard sale

Posted March 19, 2010, at 10:53 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — Twin City Rodeways Inc. took ownership of the New Stable Inn on Wilson Street in mid-February when the owner failed to pay his mortgage and is holding a yard sale Saturday to empty the building.

The inn closed on Jan. 25 after high winds ripped off a portion of its roof. City officials ordered the building evacuated until the damage was repaired.

Three weeks later, owner Farhat Cheema of Massachusetts failed to pay his mortgage. Paul Means of Means Investment Co. of Bangor picked up the note.

“The owner is unsure as to what is going to happen right now, but will weigh his options and ultimately decide what is in the best interest of all parties involved,” Zach Means, his son, said Friday.

There is a possibility the 69-room motel building may be used for firefighter training, could be razed and may someday be replaced with a new hotel, but nothing has been decided, Zach Means said.

“There is a possibility that a new hotel will be built, but it will not be Twin City Rodeways doing the construction,” he said.

City Manager Steve Bost said city officials “are working with owner Paul Means to determine the fate of the building,” he said. “Mr. Means is looking at a number of scenarios including razing the structure. One of the options before us is taking the structure down in segments as a controlled burn for firefighter training purposes.”

When strong winds damaged the roof in January, it was the second time in a little more than three years that part of the roof was blown off.

Winds in October 2006 caused the red metal roof of the inn to become unstable and then rip off in large sections. Those roof sections were never properly fixed and holes in the covering leaked, allowing water to get into the building and causing the roof itself to sag, city officials said.

Both times the motel had roof problems, it was evacuated and city leaders arrived at the scene to ensure that the motel occupants, most of whom pay weekly to live at the establishment, had a safe place to stay, Bost said.

“I saw firsthand the deplorable conditions of the Stable Inn,” he said at the Feb. 9 City Council meeting. “I walked through that motel room by room. Most of those people are better off being in another hotel or apartment than being in that hotel.”

After city officials evacuated the building, they also ordered that an engineer inspect it and do a structural analysis of the roof in order to identify any problems that would need to be fixed to bring it back to code before being allowed to reopen.

The fact that a black tarp covers the area of the roof that was ripped off is an indication of what’s to come, John Dudley, property manager for Means Investment Co. of Bangor, said last month as tenants removed the last of their belongings.

“If you’re tearing the building down, you’re not going to pay for the roof,” he said.

The Evolve Club, which opened the weekend before the storm in a building attached to the front of the motel, also was forced to close when the inn was evacuated.

Saturday’s yard sale is scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

“Items to be sold include TVs, small refrigerators, furniture, microwaves, vacuums and other odds and ends we collected from the hotel,” Zach Means said. “We are not selling fixtures at this time but are looking into having a local company come in and make an offer on the remaining materials if we do in fact decide to burn it.”

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