WILBRAHAM – At 2451 Boston Road, a tangle of vegetative growth covers the site of the former Ground Round and Belli’s Restaurant.
More than $70,000 is owed in back taxes on the property and the town now hopes for foreclose the condemned and vacant location.
Assistant Town Administrator for Budget and Finance Thomas Sullivan said the town has been moving to foreclose the former Belli’s property for more than a year. He added that the owner of the property, Carl Pastoreck of Hampden, owed back taxes on the property several years ago that were paid to the town.
After those taxes were paid off, Pastoreck incurred the $70,000 in taxes that are currently outstanding.
Sullivan said Pastoreck could object during the foreclosure hearing on July 20, but he doesn’t believe that would happen.
If the property were foreclosed, the town would have to wait a year until the building could be demolished, he noted. The town must wait a year because the owner could decide to appeal the foreclosure process if there were any flaws in the procedural taking of the property.
“The town may go in when we get the okay to try to clean up the outside somewhat, at least cut the shrubbery and trees and older growth,” Building Inspector Lance Trevallion said.
He added the property was built in 1920 and consists of two parcels – the building and an adjacent parking lot on Forest Street. The nearly one-acre site is assessed at $180,700 and has been vacant for more than a decade.
Board of Selectmen Chair Robert Boilard said he doesn’t foresee the building being used for future commercial enterprises and it needs to be demolished.
“It’s been an eyesore for many years and we’re trying to get it fixed and rectified,” Boilard said. “This is the only process to do it properly.”
If the town were to acquire the property, it could then sell it an investor, he noted. The site could also be utilized for a town-owned building.
“If it’s a large enough footprint to accommodate our needs, we could do that as well,” Boilard said.
There were plans for a party to purchase the property approximately four months ago, Sullivan said. However, the deal fell through because of “hazardous materials” on the site.
Donald Flannery of Flannery and Company Realtors, the real estate broker for the property, told Reminder Publications Anthony Carnevale of Carnevale Real Estate sought to purchase the property along with other members of a trust, but the group “backed out in the last minute” due to a “bogus” excuse.
He added that he believes the group is waiting for the town to take the property in order to purchase it for less than what was being offered.
Flannery said he also thinks Glen Garvey, who co-owns the former Bennett Turkey Farm at 601 Main St. with Carnevale, is a member of the trust.
Carnevale said he was not looking to purchase the property, but instead acted as a broker for the trust during the negotiations.
He also stated that Garvey had nothing to do with any negotiations to purchase the former Belli’s restaurant property.
The reason the trust decided not to purchase the property was due to large amounts of asbestos as well as environmental issues found on the site, Carnevale added.