A 34-acre Jamesport property that’s owned by the same entity as an adjacent lot currently slated for a controversial development project has been seized by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and will be sold at auction on Sept. 11.
That is, unless the debt that led to that seizure is paid off before then, officials said.
Nicholas Yannello and Kimberly Lee obtained a court judgement against the property’s owners, Julius Klein and Jamesport Development LLC, and sought to have the land auctioned as a means of paying off the debt, according to a spokesman in the sheriff’s office, which is charged with enforcing the judgement.
Attorney John Ciarelli said he represents Mr. Yannello and Ms. Lee and says the case involves money owed to his clients.
“It’s a significant amount, it’s in the seven figures,” he said, although he did not give a specific number.
The 34 acres are located located north of the 9.7 acres that Mr. Klein’s company, Jul-Bet Enterprise, is currently seeking to build a 42,000-square-foot project called Village at Jamesport.
That land fronts Route 25 in Jamesport and Jul-Bet Enterprises has a pending site plan application for the project, which would include retail stores, professional offices and two bistros. Jul-Bet Enterprises is listed as the applicant.
Court papers show that Jul-Bet Enterprises owns 50 percent of Jamesport Development LLC.
Court papers also indicate that two other entities, RBR Equities LLC and SW Consulting Co. Inc, each own 25 percent of Jamesport Development. Both of those companies have previously gone to court seeking to dissolve Jamesport Development.
Mr. Ciarelli, who also represents those entities in that case, said earlier this year that Jul-Bet owes those clients about $3 million.
He said this week that Mr. Yannello and Ms. Lee “are not directly related to the dissolution case” and that this is a separate case.
“Hopefully, this thing will be resolved before the sale,” Mr. Ciarelli said. “Nobody is looking forward to the sale.”
Jamesport Development also is in foreclosure on the entire property, including the 9.7 acres targeted for the Village at Jamesport. United International Bank argued in foreclosure proceedings that Jamesport Development has failed to pay back a $3.25 million loan the bank made to the group in 2007. The courts issued a judgment in the bank’s favor, but that decision was contested.
In the past, a 160-unit retirement community was once proposed on the 34 acres, but the town subsequently rezoned the property in 2004 and the new zoning will only allow about 15 homes to be built there.
There is no current application pending for the 34 acres.
The land is scheduled to be sold at auction at 11 a.m. on Sept. 11 at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office building in Yaphank
A legal notice states the sheriff’s office has ,”Seized all the right, title and interest” that Jamesport Development has on the property.
Lieutenant Jan Meyerriecks of the enforcement bureau of the sheriff’s civil section said that people bidding at auctions such as this need to do their own title research first.
“What’s being sold is not the land or a building on it, it’s just someone’s right, title and interest on the property,” she said. “We don’t do any research on it. There could be multiple owners and you’re only purchasing one person’s interest in the land.”
She said many times after such auctions, “They end up in litigation afterwards because people don’t know what they’re doing.”
Other times, she said, there are no bidders at all.
Mr. Klein could not immediately be reached for comment.
Charles Cuddy, the attorney representing Jul-Bet Enterprises on the commercial development application, said he didn’t know anything about the seizure and thus could not comment.