March 08, 2008
by The Republican Newsroom
File photo by Dave Roback / The Republican
All was quiet at 60 Congress St., Springfield, in November 2006, the day after the Hooters restaurant franchise and the Double Door Mexican Grill and Cantina closed. A foreclosure auction is scheduled on the building March 19.
SPRINGFIELD - The former home of Hooters and the Double Door Mexican Grill and Cantina restaurants at 60 Congress St. is attracting interest from potential buyers, the auctioneer charged with selling it said earlier this week.
An auction is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 19 at the site.
"There are some national players who are interested in this because it is centrally located, it has a good amount of parking and it is 54,000 square feet," said Justin J. Manning, president and partner of J.J. Manning Auctioneers in Yarmouthport.
He said a selling price of $1 million wouldn't be out of the question. The 1.25-acre property is assessed at $885,000. Manning is selling the building only, not the Hooters franchise.
He said some local potential buyers have also contacted him.
"But I don't know if they will pay the long dollars a national chain would," Manning said.
Both Hooters, which opened in 2002, and the Double Door Mexican Grill, closed suddenly without advance notice in November 2006.
Manning said he's marketed the four-floor building to restaurant chains, moving and storage companies and firms that develop medical offices. The building has 11,000 square feet of space on the first floor. The restaurants closed in November 2006.
"I think there has been an increased interest in medical office space in that area," Brian Connors, deputy director of economic development for the city, said. "I think the hospital's presence is becoming a driver in that type of thing."
He referenced Northgate Plaza nearby on Main Street which he said is changing to medical offices from retail.
Baystate Medical Center has offices located nearby at 280 Chestnut St.
Connors also said the planned rebuilding of Union Station makes the Hooters property more attractive to developers.
Manning said the GE Capital Franchise Finance Corp. has foreclosed on the mortgage held by owner of Record Mather Properties LLC. Springfield lawyer Robert N. Fratar is the attorney of record on Mather Properties incorporation papers. Fratar did not return a call for comment.
Manning said a successful bidder would also be responsible for the back taxes owed on the property. That totals $41,000, according to the city's Web site. Property taxes are $27,700 a year.
Before it was a Hooters, the building was the site of Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant.