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Auctioneer Marianne Sullivan, right, conducts a foreclosure auction at Cove Lanes in Great Barrington on Wednesday morning.

Cove Lanes in Great Barrington Sold in Foreclosure Auction

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A Sheffield man Wednesday morning bought the Cove Lanes bowling alley in an on-site foreclosure auction held in the parking lot of the recreation center.
 
Craig Barnum was the lone bidder against an attorney for the business's mortgagee.
 
He won the brief auction with a purchase price of $981,000.
 
Afterward, Barnum declined to discuss specifics of his plans for the business with reporters but said he would be prepared to do so in a day or two.
 
The 11 a.m. auction drew a crowd of about three dozen people, including multiple qualified bidders.
 
Marianne Sullivan of Sandwich's Sullivan and Sullivan Auctioneers refused to specify how many qualified bidders signed up for the auction. But three other potential bidders, in addition to Barnum, turned in bid cards after the auction.
 
Barnum was the only bidder to raise his card during the auction, which began when Sullivan asked for and received a bid of $950,000 from Lauren Solar, an attorney for the Boston firm Hackett Feinberg, representing the seller, IOFUS-FCC Holdings I LLC, a Delaware-registered company.
 
After Solar set the floor, Barnum bid $975,000.
 
That led to Solar asking Sullivan for a "timeout," during which the seller's agent and auctioneer stepped off to the side to consult for about five minutes.
 
When they returned, Solar bid $980,000. Barnum then bid $981,000, not to be outbid.
 
Per the terms of the purchase and sales agreement, qualified bidders were required to come to the auction with a $75,000, non-refundable earnest money deposit. The successful bidder will be required to also pay up to 10 percent of the bid price within five days of Wednesday's auction.
 
Barnum will have until Jan. 14 to close on the property with the remainder of the purchase price.
 
The 24-lane bowling alley and entertainment center was advertised as sitting on an approximately 3.7-acre site with an approximately 26,000-square-foot building.
 
Per the conditions of the sales agreement, Barnum will responsible for outstanding tax liens owed to the town of Great Barrington.
 
According to the Berkshire Edge, owner Hankey O'Rourke Enterprises has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy since June 2019 and no property taxes have been paid on the property since that time. The 63-year-old bowling alley was purchased by the current owner in 2008 and has an assessed value of $1.8 million, the Berkshire Edge reported. 

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Clinton Church Restoration Announces New Funding

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Clinton Church Restoration has been awarded a $117,000 capital grant from MassDevelopment and the Mass Cultural Council, part of a round of Cultural Facilities Fund grants.
 
The funds will be used to help complete architectural and engineering plans for the African American cultural heritage center the nonprofit is creating in downtown Great Barrington. This is the project's second award from the Fund, whose planning and capital grants provide investments in cultural facilities throughout the Commonwealth. 
 
"It's wonderful to see this funding from the Cultural Facilities Fund," said Dan Bolognani, executive director of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area and ex officio member of the Clinton Church Restoration board. "Their impact on the cultural scene in the Berkshires cannot be overstated and we are honored to have their support in developing a unique new center that will expand the region's cultural offerings."
 
According to Eugenie Sills, the project's interim executive director, the Cultural Facilities Fund grant is one of six grants the project has received in as many months. In March, the American Historical Association provided a $75,000 grant to support a one-year historian-in-residence position, research assistant, and public history programming. The nonprofit was one of 50 organizations to receive the AHA-NEH Grant to Sustain and Advance the Work of Historical Organizations, a program made possible with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
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