HARTFORD – Potential profit and a sense of civic pride are what drove Hartford resident and contractor Andre Davis to attend the Hartford City Tax Deed sale of ten Dunkin’ Donuts Park properties on Thursday.
“I’m interested in these properties that need a lot of attention and I’m trying to get these things on the tax rolls so we can improve Hartford in terms of getting more stock in the city,” Davis, who owns and operates A&D Development, said before auction.
His goal was to acquire a dilapidated property, return it to a symbol and stick to it as an investment.
“I usually fix it up and resell it,” he said, adding that he’s rehabilitated about 30 properties in the city over the past 10 years. “Maybe I’ll stick with this. I’m a Hartford resident, and I’d like to see the homes in Hartford get better and better.”
Davis, who budgeted between $30,000 and $40,000 before the auction, was among 40 potential bidders who attended the event, with nine of the 10 properties sold. The original bid began with what was owed to the city in taxes, and was then escalated depending on the interest in the property from the bidders.
All winning bidders had to pay a $5,000 down payment on site, and the balance of the winning bid was due to attorney Adam Cohen of Pullman & Comley, who conducted the auction, by 4 p.m. Tuesday.
It was the city’s first tax bond sale since October 2020, according to Hartford Tax Collector Nancy S. Raich. About 60 properties were originally offered for sale months ago, but about 50 of the property owners have either paid city taxes or many have filed for bankruptcy protection, Reich said.
Reich said the city has recovered about $1.44 million in taxes as owners have paid their back taxes since the effort began in October 2021, with another $545,000 arriving in the city if sales are completed Thursday.
The city cannot benefit from the sale of the tax bond. Cohen said the money from the successful bid that was owed to the city would be put into an escrow account in the Supreme Court. The holder of the lien on the property can then apply to the court to be paid out of the increase.
If none of the franchisees applies for the raise, the money can be paid to the original owner, provided they apply for it, according to Cohen.
If no one files for overruns, Cohen said, the money goes to the state.
Here is the list of properties sold, the amount recovered by the city and the winning bids:
- 72 College Street, $35,134.21, $80,000
- 135 Cheshire Street, $20382.50, $65,000
- 30 Atwood Street, $69,057.51, $176,000
- 173 Affleck Street, $131,697.71, $180,000
- 328 Park Terrace. $39,450.98, $76,000
- 190 Edgewood Street, $18171.07, $20K
- 41 Mahl Ave. , $53,490.50 Sold with 45 Street Shop, $175,000
- 45 Mahl Ave. , $103,473.70 Sold with 41 Street Shop, $175,000
- 83 Mansfield Street, $70,847.71, $85,000
All properties were sold as is, which caused some confusion among the bidders.
The only property that did not hold any bids, 638 Garden Street no longer had a structure, which was not known to the bidders until it was announced by several people at the auction. The owner of this property owes approximately $100,000 in back taxes. Cohen said that instead of selling it, the city would get the title deed for that property.
Other properties, such as College Street and Atwood Street, sparked bidding wars, with bids often soaring in increments of $5,000.
Mahl Avenue properties were sold together and likely won’t lead to any shows because the city also has a $466,000 mortgage on the properties.
A city official said during the auction that the city was willing to cancel the $100,000 mortgage. A winning bid was submitted for $175,000.
Cohen said that although winning bidders must pay the full amount of their bids by Tuesday, the property’s current owners still have six months from the auction date to pay their back taxes and keep their property.
“It’s a last chance to correct,” Cohen said.
Davis offered several properties, but walked away from the auction empty-handed and a bit disappointed.
“I didn’t want to pay that much,” he said, exiting the garden.