Note: The subject of this story has been addressed in a follow up article.
The title company has called in the note on the controversial Timberwolf Condominiums on the Sterling Highway in the heart of Soldotna.
Due to $4 million in debt not being paid, Fidelity Title Agency of Alaska filed a notice of default and the unfinished condos are scheduled to be auctioned off at the Anchorage courthouse at 10:30 a.m., May 29.
The large, two-story condo buildings drew complaints last year from Soldotna residents who said the condos were too big, too close to the Sterling Highway and aesthetically out of place in the heart of Soldotna's business corridor.
Because Soldotna municipal code allows multi-family and single-family residential use in its commercial zone, the condominium development did not require any special permitting to be built on the site of the former Timberwolf Lodge, owned by Michael Beals.
Terms of the auction sale listed on the First National Bank Alaska Web site say the property will be sold to the highest bidder with cash or a cashier's check payable to Fidelity Title Agency of Alaska.
The minimum bid amount is to be announced on or about Tuesday.
Up for bid are all 27 unfinished apartment-style condominiums on lots 1 and 2 of the Ruby Lee White Subdivision at 44485 Sterling Highway.
The land is assessed at $601,000 and the buildings' assessment is listed as $2,395,400.
The default notice states the amount of indebtedness is $4,046,297.07 plus interest from Nov. 5, 2007.
Marilyn Kebschull, member of the Soldotna Planning and Zoning Commission, was not entirely surprised by the announcement of foreclosure.
"It was quite a big undertaking," Kebschull said. "Usually they do these types of projects in phases."
Soldotna City Manager Tom Boedeker said he is disappointed the project did not go through.
"I hope somebody can pick it up and complete it," Boedeker said. "You don't want an unfinished project like that sitting there."
He said under the city's code, condos such as the Timberwolf Condominiums "are permissible use" either as lodging or residential in the commercial zone.
In response to citizens' complaints about the condos, the Soldotna City Council, last August, patched a hole in its zoning code and now requires residential developments in the commercial district to be at least 40 feet back from the curb line.
The amending ordinance came in response to complaints over the proximity of the Timberwolf Condominiums to the Sterling Highway in the middle of Soldotna's business district.
In addition to having front yard setbacks of 40 feet from the curb or 20 feet from the property line, residential developments in the commercial zone now are required to have rear and side yards of at least 20 feet.
Because of seemingly arbitrary highway setback requirements along the Sterling Highway through Soldotna, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities right-of-way line nearly touches the sidewalk along the condo development, but is much wider right next door at First National Bank Alaska, according to Boedeker.
Calls to Mike Beals' phone were unanswered.
Phil Hermanek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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