By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer
The Quincy City Center Hotel did not sell at auction Wednesday, but the owners believe alternate bidders will step forward in the next few days.
"Our reserve bid was not met," said Leslie Abbott of Abbott Development Inc. of Quincy. "The auctioneers say a lot of the time if you don't get your reserve, then people will step forward. I'm very optimistic we will still find a buyer."
Potential buyers had to make earnest money deposits of $30,000 to participate in online bidding that ran from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday. The minimum opening bid of $200,000 was met, but no bidders met the reserve -- a figure which was not made public.
Abbott, who is part of Abbott Development along with her sons Mark, Luke and Matt, said many bidders were involved in the auction.
"Obviously we can't give it away," she said. "The high bidder knows he didn't meet the reserve. We've got a couple of other people who said they're interested, too."
The hotel, which opened in August 1984 as the Quincy Holiday Inn, has 145 rooms, banquet facilities and an indoor pool. It is situated on about 4.5 acres between Gardner Expressway and Fourth Street, north of York Street. It has 17,500 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center, guest laundry facilities and high-speed Internet access. Only about half of the hotel's 145 rooms have been used in recent months.
The hotel, also known as the Holidome, was operated by Quincy Partners Ltd., a corporation launched by the Albanese family of Springfield. The property sold to Marine Bank in August 2006 to settle a foreclosure suit. Quincy Partners owned Marine Bank $3.19 million and owed the city of Quincy $1.16 million on a $1.35 million loan through a federal Urban Development Action Grant.
Abbott Development bought the hotel in February 2008 with the plans of renovating it and getting it affiliated with a national franchise.
Matt Abbott said last week that the family bought the hotel at the wrong time and couldn't secure the renovation financing due to the financial crisis that involved the collapse of the housing market and the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Douglas Johnson, managing director of CBRE Auction Services, said more than hotel operators have been looking at the property.
"We've had interest from people representing a number of different types of uses," he said.
Leslie Abbott said the alternate bidders are not looking at the property for a hotel.
"We want success for Quincy, and we want the property in the hands of people who want what's best for the community," she said.