FLEMINGTON, NJ – A sheriff’s sale of the Union Hotel set for this afternoon didn’t happen.
The hotel was but one of many properties scheduled to be auctioned today, and those auctions were held in the Freeholder’s meeting room here. But the Union Hotel sale was postponed until Jan. 31 at 2 p.m., Sheriff Fred Brown said.
No reason was given for the delay. Those attending the auction this afternoon included Flemington Councilpersons Betsy Driver and Susan Peterson. They have been vocal in opposing Jack Cust’s Courthouse Square redevelopment plan that includes the hotel.
The hotel is owned by Flemington Union Hotel, LLC. That group was formed by investors Liam Burns and Matt McPherson, who Borough Council designated to redevelop the hotel five years ago. Even though the pair acquired its liquor license, they couldn’t complete the project and were officially de-designated in August, 2015.
Shortly after that, developer Cust bought the liquor license and is pursuing his own redevelopment plan for the hotel and surrounding properties.
The auction was ordered by Superior Court because Raritan Township resident Steve Romanowski had loaned Flemington Union Hotel, LLC $605,000 towards its effort to restore the hotel. When it defaulted on the loan, Romanowski filed to foreclose on the property.
Proceeds from the auction would go to reimburse Romanowski the $715,000 it says he’s now owed in principal and interest.
It is possible there will be no bidders for the property, as happened when 82 Main St. was offered at sheriff’s sale. If that happens with the hotel, Romanowski would take ownership of the property, and settle with the borough for its overdue property taxes.