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Luxury West End condos going up for auction

BY Laurie Schreiber

1/30/2019
Photo / Peter Van Allen
Photo / Peter Van Allen
Williston-West Condominiums, at 32 Thomas St. in Portland's West End, are going up for auction Feb. 15.

Williston-West Condominiums, at 32 Thomas St. in Portland’s West End, has been listed for auction by Tranzon LLC.
The auction will be held Feb. 15, 1 p.m. There’s no minimum bid listed. A deposit of $50,000 is required.
The luxury condos were redeveloped from the former Williston West Church, consisting of a 6,366-square-foot one-story sanctuary and a three-story, 11,978-square-foot administration/parish building for a total of 18,344 square feet, according to Loopnet.com.
The church was restored and updated to create seven distinctive condominium units, according to the Tranzon listing,. Unit 1 includes a portion of the former parish house.
Units 2 through 6 feature large floor plans ranging from three-bedroom/three-bath to two bedroom/two-bath units, along with cook’s kitchens, classic architecture and modern finishes. Unit 7 includes the former sanctuary space.
The condos are priced from $650,000 to $1.15 million. Features include cathedral ceilings, chandeliers, stained-glass windows, hardwood floors, walk-in closets and granite countertops, according to the Williston-West website.
According to a Feb. 13, 2018 post on the Williston-West Facebook page, Williston-West had just finished up a “massive restoration and renovation” over six years. The condos were due to go live at that time.
Subsequent posts, in June and July 2018, advertised listing price reductions of $50,000 and $75,000 on five of the units.
The Gothic style Williston-West Church was designed by Francis H. Fassett and built in 1877. The parish house, built in 1905, was designed by John Calvin Stevens and John Howard Stevens. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The church congregation merged with another in 2011, and the property was sold for rehabilitation and redevelopment. Architectural feature include a square three-story tower, buttressed walls, Gothic-arched windows and a large rose window.
As of June 2017, Majella Group, which is based in Brisbane, Australia, and led by CEO Sebastian Monsour, had an office at 32 Thomas St. Majella at the time had plans to purchase Saddleback Mountain Resort, but didn’t close on the deal. 32 Thomas St. was owned by Monsour’s father, Frank Monsour, who purchased it in 2011 for his wife Elizabeth and began renovations to include offices and accommodation for the Majella Group.
In June 2018, Sebastian Monsour was arrested in Brisbane, Australia, as part of an investigation into a $5 million investment fraud.
Portland City Assessor Christopher Huff told Mainebiz that 32 Thomas St. is registered with the city as a five-unit apartment building with one office, owned by 32 Thomas Street LLC. The city imposed a lien on the property in June 2018 for $6,600 in unpaid real estate taxes. The lien was discharged in July 2018. The city has on file a declaration to convert the property into condominium ownership, Huff said. But the city did not yet finalize the conversion, he explained, because the city typically does so once the first condo is sold.
“Even though, it’s condo’d, I’m assuming they haven’t sold any of the units yet,” he said.
City records show that 32 Thomas Street LLC is owned by Frank Monsour.
In 2012, the Bangor Daily News reported that a group of Portland residents filed a lawsuit to prevent Frank Monsour from renovating the historic Williston-West Church complex for office space for his mobile data systems company Majella Global Technologies.