Pacific East, the dilapidated restaurant property that the Amagansett Fire District commissioners hope will win the public's approval to buy for $2.8 million, was sold at auction in May for $500,000. A referendum on the deal will be open to Amagansett Fire District residents tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m. at the firehouse.
The auction followed the conclusion of two related lawsuits involving the dissolution of the corporation that had run the restaurant. The Suffolk Supreme Court commercial division was involved in breaking up the partnership, called Mac Duff Inc., which was equally owned by Aram Sabet and Michael Castino.
In 2008, Justice Elizabeth Hazlitt Emerson ordered Mac Duff dissolved and turned its assets over to an appointed receiver. In her order, she said that Pacific East had "ceased operation in September 2007 and, according to various representations by the parties . . . is in a complete state of disrepair."
The Suffolk County Health Department said this week that the restaurant was last inspected in May 2006. Restaurants are required to pass the department's annual inspections to continue operating.
The May auction was conducted in Yaphank by the Suffolk sheriff's office after the court ordered the property seized as part of a separate lawsuit. With his winning bid of $500,000, Mr. Sabet's father, Hormoz Sabet, became the new owner of the building and two acres. The auction had been advertised in The East Hampton Star legal notices for five weeks.
Leslie Agate, a representative of the Suffolk sheriff's office, which handled the May 3 auction, said it was not a foreclosure sale, but was the result of a court order. Mortgage tax records from the county clerk's office show that the deal closed on June 2.
Lee Minetree, the Saunders and Associates broker for the property, said the fire district had made an earlier offer to buy the property for $2.75 million at a time when Aram Sabet was the sole owner. Mr. Minetree said that Mr. Sabet said he could not accept the district's offer because he said he owed far more on the property.
Htun Han, an Amagansett real estate broker and ambulance volunteer who took part in the recent negotiations between the fire commissioners and Mr. Sabet, said Friday he had not known about the outcome of the auction. Jack Emptage, the fire district commissioner who spearheaded the deal, said he was unaware there had been one.