Judge Delays Approval Of Foreclosure Auction Sale Of Waterford Speedbowl

Foreclosure Sign WaterfordNEW LONDON – Approval of the foreclosure sale of the Waterford Speedbowl to Glastonbury businessman Bruce Bemer was delayed Monday by New London Superior Court judge Emmet Cosgrove.

Bemer was the high bidder – at $1.75 million – in the foreclosure auction that took place on Oct. 18. The sale price must be approved by the court.

There was just over $2 million owed on the property by owner Terry Eames at the time of the auction. The property had recently been valued at about $3 million and was being advertised on the market for sale with an asking price of $3.3 million prior to the auction.

An objection to the sale was filed with the court by creditor Edward DeMuzzio and his company CCI Inc.

In the objection, DeMuzzio alleges that there was collusion between creditors Rocco Arbitell, Peter Borelli, Theodore Parker and Shawn Parker to keep the bidding price low for the auction. They also argued that the property should have been better marketed to attract a higher bid in favor of creditors to realize returns on their debts.

DeMuzzio’s attorney, Michael Bonnano argued Monday to Cosgrove that the property could have been advertised better and targeted more toward commercial developers and that the property’s value would be higher as an industrially developed parcel rather than as a racetrack.

Bemer has said his intention is to continue to run the property as a racetrack. Bemer was not present in court Monday.

Attorney Garon Camassar, who oversaw the Oct. 18 auction, confirmed to Cosgrove that the property was marketed through racing industry publications and through an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal and that the property was also marketed through typical real estate advertising.

Arbitell’s attorney William McCoy told the judge Monday that there was no interest shown by commercial developers since the announcement of the pending foreclosure auction in January of this year.

Bemer, and Montville businessman Bob Mrowka, were the only two bidders not directly involved with the case who registered as bidders for the auction. Mrowka did not make a bid. Bemer and the combination of Arbitell/Borelli were the only parties bidding on the auction day.

Cosgrove asked attorneys to file affidavits by Friday to argue why the sale price should be approved. Cosgrove said after reviewing the affidavits he will make a determination whether or not additional hearings concerning the objections are necessary.

“I think he’s considering whether or not an additional auction would generate any more money protecting the interest of the creditors,” McCoy said. “Based upon the conversations his sense of it is that a fair amount of advertising was done. The property has been listed for sale and it was an auction in which there was interest. We’re going to be filing affidavits to support the confirmation of the sale and he’ll make a determination whether there will be further hearings.”

In July 2007, Arbitell, a Southbury businessman and local racing supporter, along with his business associate Borrelli, stepped in to offer Eames and his ownership group, 1080 Hartford Road LLC, financing to avoid a foreclosure action being taken then by former mortgage holder Washington Mutual Bank. The deal with Arbitell was announced a day before the track’s auction date for a foreclosure in 2007.

In May 2008 Arbitell brought his own foreclosure action against the ownership group after former track operator Jerry Robinson failed to pay the Speedbowl’s property taxes.

Facing another pending foreclosure auction, Eames and 1080 Hartford Road LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2009. A debt reorganization plan was accepted by bankruptcy court in January 2012 and the ownership cleared bankruptcy not long after that.

In March 2013, Arbitell and the rest of the creditors involved in the bankruptcy moved to have foreclosure action retaken against the Speedbowl ownership, which led to the Oct. 18 auction.

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  1. NewtownJack says

    If anything…one could say Arbitell ran UP the bids, costing Mr Bemer more $$ than necessary to purchase the track.

  2. Grey Matter says

    This is idiotic. It was public knowledge for a very long time. You didn’t have to drive by the place to figure it out. Not only that, it has also been known that the Bowl has been in financial quick sand for the last several years. If someone wanted it bad enough, they would have been there.

  3. Well done piece, Shawn.

  4. People we’re informed of where and when the auction was going to take place. Two business investors showed up. The auction is closed now, done deal. That’s way it’s called an auction, Highest bidder wins and when only two show up that’s what you get. Let the man have his track and be done with it.

  5. Steve Planchon says

    Who are these people, Edward DeMuzzio and CCI Inc.? I’ve never heard or read of these folks as being creditors involved in the Speedbowl until this article. Thanks!

  6. Who are DeMuzzio and CCI? Is this the silent partner of Eames? Is this just another ploy for extension of time for Terry to come up with financing?

  7. Matthew Best says

    Shawn……Please get your facts straight about the ownership” Clearing Bankruptcy”.What actually happened is that Terry Eames failed to honor the bankrupcy agreement by not allowing an auditor or receiver handle funds and records for the trustee of the court.Not only that, But Eames didn’t pay the Attorney he hired for the bankruptcy, And the attorney promptly filed a lein against the speedbowl property.Eames bankruptcy was dismissed due to those issues.I think its important to know the truth as most reading this assume terry followed thru on the bankruptcy,When in fact he did not.If he had followed thru or at least attempted to do so,The sale would not have taken place as the creditors would all be getting steady payments from the courts trustee.Also terry could have had the option of filing bankruptcy again to stave off a sale but was not allowed to do so as an option without a large cash bond,plus paying the committee of sale fees prior to the most recent auction.All these facts are on the Ct Judicial and Federal websights.

  8. The ghost of Terry Eames says

    If this isn’t more proof of Bemer needing to distance himself from Eames….Is every Tom, Dick, and Harry that he borrowed money from going to come forward now looking for their money?

  9. Here we go again. Just end it. It was a public auction and over 100 people showed up. Some were racers obviously but this proces had been going on there for a while. Almost 10 months exactly and years previous to this one. Other than a one or two whiny bitches mr Berner could finally get down to business and make it a great place. Ya lost money get over it I’m sure your not the only one Terry has left hanging.

  10. this is getting totally ridiculous

  11. Google it's a wonderful thing says

    DeMuzzio/ CCI are one in the same. CCI is his computer business, he also owns a pizza place in New London.

  12. former infield guy hoping to return. says

    Ridiculous.. I for one hope this gets resolved sooner than later so Mr. Bemer can start getting things in order for the upcoming season. Good Luck Bruce Bemer, Hope this ends well…

  13. What it comes down to: Is the judge a racing fan or a pizza fan?

  14. Good luck to Mr. Bemer. You showed up and made an honest bid. If CCI and DeMzzzio didn’t like the your bid they should have been there to outbid you! Again, good luck Mr. Bemer!

  15. Shawn how long will this smoke screen take before Bruce can get started on the track.


  17. Brian,

    Hopefully we will know the next the court will take by next week.


  19. Doug DiPisa says

    Well people, this should tell you were to NOT by pizza. No?

  20. Post court date and lets pack the court room

  21. Which pizza place in NL?

  22. :/

  23. Bob Freeman says

    This is not a huge surprise as the winning bid did not cover the entire debt owed to all parties. In other words, there are creditors who will not get paid. Edward DeMuzzio and CCI Inc. are not new to the table and have been part of the process for a number of years. My uneducated opinion is that the Waterford/New London/Groton area seems to be over-developed in terms of available retail and industrial space. It does appear as though the auction was adequately advertised, so it will be interesting to see how the Judge proceeds. Hopefully it will not be a drawn out decision as any delay could affect business plans for next season.

  24. shawn monahan says

    there seems to be some general knowledge of the situation but some of the comments are totally ignorant. if this auction had just brought a little bit more money on the sale, it would have already been approved and we all would have been moving forward with our racing plans. I must say that it is cold hearted and rude, it shows absolutely zero feelings towards people’s financial hardships. I don’t blame ed demuzzio for trying everything in his power to try to get some money out of this. if you guys would like to see this sale approved tomorrow, feel free to put a fund together and send the proceeds to Ed. you can cut me a check while you’re at it because ed and I are the only two that lost our asses. I don’t think you would understand unless you were in his shoes he really wants to see a racetrack move forward as well

  25. So he owns two wives pizza and treasurer of Fiddleheads but there must be more to this story !!!

  26. Which pizza place does he own? I’ll give him some business.

  27. Shawn you are telling us you were racing at a track you had $$ invested in ?

  28. Dick, If what you said is true, wouldn’t it be a conflict of interest?

  29. Very well written article Shawn. If Matt B. wants you to get your facts straight, maybe he can open up his own forum. You have followed these events from the beginning and have done a superb job of reporting and keeping us in the loop. As Bob E. posted, I hope this doesn’t come down to whether the judge likes pizza or racing. Just take the check, approve the sale and bang the gavel. Court dismissed!

  30. It is not what I am said, all I did is ask if that is what Shawn is saying. Yes you would be correct.

  31. I see no need for another retail location on the current site of The Waterford Speedbowl, not for the fact that I’m a race fun, but for the simple fact that there are far too many to begin with globally nevermind in Ct. Second I would love to see the Bowl prosper with full stands and car counts from the 80’s, but we all know it’s not going to happen overnight. So I leave you with this if you feel you want the bowl to withstand the test of time make sure you stand behind her and everything will be just fine.

  32. Shawn you are telling us you were racing at a track you had $$ invested in ? If true wouldn’t it be a conflict of interest?

  33. shawn monahan says

    Where was the conflict? Check the deed at the town. I have been a lien holder on the property since 2008. I would have taken the money at any point. If you are wondering if being a lien holder benefitted my racing in any way, I could understand your thoughts but you would be mistaken. I am not sure that I would agree with you if you are saying I should not have been able to race because of it. I don’t mind responding if this stays respectful, I just feel bad for Ed.

  34. You guys are all trying to go after the people who had the money to offer bids at the track and who had money tied up. I am sure nobody out here has made any bad financial decisions in their lives. Or good decisions

    Who can blame them for trying to recoup what they are out on. I don’t blame them at all. Either way in the end there will be racing and everyone will be happy in the end.

    At least it’s not going to be another useless store that will close up in 5 years and be empty for a long period of time.

    Let the courts battle it out and let’s all look forward to next seasons races and be glad we can. All still enjoy it no matter who owns it at all. Be happy it’s not like ct dragway is now and we don’t have it to enjoy keep that in the back of your minds while you keep up the bickering

  35. Why would Shawn not be aloud to race at a track he invested in? Correct me if I am wrong but didnt both the Carrols race Riverside while they OWNED the track. Doesnt Tony Stewart sometimes run Eldora? Dont two Arutes run at Stafford? Ect. Maybe if Shawn didnt invest we would have not raced last couple years. You guys are skipping the point and being petty. Thanks Shawn

  36. Shawn, Just wondering if there were rules from NA$CAR against it. I wish no ill to anyone.

  37. Mark Stanton says

    I agree with comments by Frog. I don’t know exactly how much is owed to Mr. DeMuzzio but the cost to file this motion is minor compared to what he’s out I’m sure. I agree that the Speedbowl property was reasonably and properly advertised and if anyone else WAS interested, it has certainly been in the spotlight on and off for several years as well. Mr. Demuzzio is entitled by our process of law to do this and it is important to remember that at one time HE invested in the Speedbowl and quite possibly could have been our savior. The Speedbowl property has many issues, one being the water beneath it, and 2 is possible ground contamination, both of which are potential head aches, but neither of these are a concern if the property remains a race track. To develop the property as something else would require these (and maybe more) to be dealt with. In New London County there is a large tracts of undeveloped land that would be better suited than the Bowl to start a new project. What I’m saying here is Mr. Demuzzio, Shawn Monahan, Rocco Arbitell, Peter Borelli, Theodore Parker and Shawn Parker ALL deserve our thanks as they have ALL invested and in some cases lost money trying to save the Bowl. I’ll have a pizza at Mr DeMuzzio’s place, even though I don’t need it.

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