News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 5, 2018
Former PNH building returns to previous ownership

The Northern Bay Residential Living Center

The Northern Bay Residential Living Center continued its operation after the Penobscot Nursing Home, housed within the same building, closed in 2014.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Faith DeAmbrose

With no bidders at a June forclosure auction, the building that once housed the Penobscot Nursing Home is back under the ownership of Betlins, a corporation founded by former business owner Wendell Dennision, which separately financed the sale of the real estate during the 2006 sale of the Penobscot Nursing Home and residential care center.

Christie Hayward, the daughter of the late Wendell Dennison who now manages the property for Betlins, said it is not yet clear how much Betlins would have to pay to regain ownership, but those details are now in the hands of the company’s long-term attorney, Richard Silver of Bangor, to resolve.

Payments from the initial sale of the building, with a purchase price of $1.7 million, were slow to come in over the first two years and stopped once the business was taken into receivership by the state in 2008 citing multiple problems, including financial and standard of care issues.

In 2012, Betlins initially moved to foreclose on the property for nonpayment, according to court documents, but that action was stayed by the court because the business was still in operation and under state-controlled receivership.

Once the nursing home and then residential care facility were closed in early 2017, the foreclosure process recommenced.

Prior to the auction, Hayward said she anticipated Betlins would emerge from the process as the owner, which now allows the company the ability to move forward, unencumbered, toward a resolution. “[Our attorney] is looking into other options. There were other people that expressed interest in the property,” said Hayward, but did not necessarily want to go through the bidding process. She said that if nothing materializes, then the property would be put out for sale.

“Our goal is obviously to make as much as we can because we’ve had such a loss,” said Hayward, but she added that while the money is important, it is also as important that “something really great go there.”

Listing such uses as affordable housing or a community center, Hayward said she would not be opposed to an assisted living facility, but feels that it is time for the building to house something else; something “new and vital to the community.”

If someone had an idea that would be a great fit for the community, we would let it go for a lot less, said Hayward.

Anyone wishing to speak to Hayward about the property can reach her at 610-3104.