Carnegie Abbey Club Could Be Carved Up to Separate Owners in Auction

Sunday, November 04, 2018


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Club House at Carnegie Abbey PHOTO: JJManning

Carnegie Abbey Club could be carved up into as many as three different separate usages – each with different owners. 

Interested investors will make their highest bids for the Carnegie Abbey Club next month in a foreclosure auction organized by JJManning Auctioneers. The Massachusetts-based auction company has its hands full with the clubhouse, 18-hole golf course, equestrian center, marina and liquor license up for grabs as well as a couple acres of undeveloped land.

“As long as they are going to operate it as it has been [operated], they should have no issues,” said Justin J. Manning, president of JJManning Auctioneers, about potential investors in the property.  However, anyone interested in veering from the current purpose and layout of the club should take their money elsewhere as there are caveats.

The majority of the Carnegie Abbey Club compound is on leased land, owned by the same Benedictine monks who operate Portsmouth Abbey School. Although it is believed the lease terms have changed some over the years, the conditions of the lease remain strict in regard to what can or can’t be done to the property.

A representative from Portsmouth Abbey School has yet to respond to a request for more information regarding the current terms of the lease and Manning could not release any more information at this point in time until all lease documents were reviewed.

There is also a possibility of the clubhouse, golf course, marina and equestrian center being sold separately. “In order to bid on the golf course and clubhouse the requirement is to bring a $100,000 bank check,” said Manning. Or cash if you prefer. The marina and equestrian center each require a $25,000 verifiable check. “In all the cases, the buyer will be required to bring that bank deposit up to 10% of the total bid within a few business days,” continued Manning.

According to Manning, the financier (in this case the Bank of New England) reserves the right to sell the compound in its entirety or as separate units. Bank of New England is willing to finance potential investors “so long as the buyer meets the normal underwriting standards,” said Manning. This, he says, attests to the fact that the bank believes in the project and continues to see it as a viable investment.

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Carnegie Abbey ocean front view

There are 23 private residences located above and adjacent to the clubhouse that are not involved in the auction. Kimberly Fleming is a real estate associate with Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty and represents the sellers of one of the units. She says the owners are “very aware of the situation,” and are anxious to know the outcome of the auction. “I think it’s going to be a difficult sell,’ she said, but, Fleming continued, “I think things will only get better,” for the current residents and members under new ownership.

Annamarie Ringheim is a broker associate with Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty. Prior to becoming an agent, she managed many of Peter de Savary’s properties, the former owner and developer of Carnegie Abbey Club. “I worked there for 13 years and really enjoyed the sense of camaraderie amongst the residents and members” said Ringheim. “I was there in the very beginning and helped develop that and I would love to see it continue,” she said.

Ringheim believes that there is a strong possibility of the owners banding together to submit their own bid for the clubhouse, although this couldn’t be verified. “It’s a great club,” she says.

Laura Decker, director of membership and the club at Carnegie Abbey, declined to comment on the auction and felt it would more appropriate to speak about the club’s current situation after the auction took place.

There will be a bidding tour on Nov. 27th from 2-4pm for interested buyers. Anyone interested in attending the auction on Dec. 4th will have to sign a waiver and confidentiality agreement in order to enter the bidding process, which will be a traditional “open outcry” auction.  “Just like at fine arts and antique auctions,” said Manning, who will, in fact, be the auctioneer on the day.

In the meantime, workers, residents and members wait with bated breath to see what the future holds for the Carnegie Abbey Club.


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