By Jeniece Roman
Record Journal Staff
WALLINGFORD — The town purchased the Brothers Restaurant property on North Cherry Street Saturday in a foreclosure auction held on the property.
The building at 33 N. Cherry St. was appraised at $524,000, with the land appraised at $87,400. The town purchased the property for $411,000.
Property Owner Ralph DeMatteo closed Brothers Restaurant in January 2017. The property was sold “as is” and the 7,258 square foot building includes dining room, bar, two banquet rooms and two kitchens.
The Town Council authorized the mayor’s office to bid on the property in August. Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. has said the town intends to convert the property into public parking in support of downtown revitalization.
Four potential buyers were registered to bid on the property. However, the majority of the back and forth bidding occurred between the town, represented by Corporation Counsel Janis Small, and Tracy Malton, owner of Healing Hands Chiropractics, LLC, which is located nearby on Hall Avenue.
Malton said she was interested in the property long before the auction and hoped to outbid the town.
“I was hoping that they were going to cap at ($385,000),” Malton said. “..I knew that they had a number, but I didn’t know what that number was going to be.”
Malton said if she had won the bid she would have converted the restaurant into a professional building and wellness center. She does not believe the town needs more public parking in the area.
“I think that there’s plenty of parking around here,” Malton said. “I think the location is in a decent enough shape that with some TLC, I think it could have been a very nice professional building.”
The court required all participants to provide a $47,000 deposit. The town will have 30 days to pay the balance of the purchase price. The Town Council needs to approve a funding ordinance for that balance.
In an August letter to the council, Dickinson said acquiring the property would support the new town center zone, Incentive Housing Zone and other transit-oriented projects.