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January 7, 2019

Portland’s Danforth Inn sold at auction for reported $1.7M, closed for rest of the month

Courtesy / Danforth Inn
Courtesy / Danforth Inn
Portland's Danforth Inn, a West End luxury establishment that avoided foreclosure earlier this year when its owners filed for bankruptcy, has been acquired by Lark Properties for a reported price of $1.7 million.

Lark Properties, which owns a collection of boutique hotels, has bought the Danforth Inn, a Portland West End property that filed for bankruptcy reorganization last year.

Ownership of the 163 Danforth St. property was transferred to Lark Properties on Jan. 4.

According to a news release, the inn's owners — Breda LLC partners Raymond Brunyanszki and Oscar Verest — accepted the offer made to them at auction on Dec. 6 after considering an earlier purchase-and-sale agreement.

The Bangor Daily News reported the purchase price is $1.7 million.

"Lark Properties has indicated that its first step will be to close the Danforth effective immediately for the remainder of the month, at which time current employees may apply to be hired by Lark," the release said. "Lark Properties did not explain its sudden decision to temporarily close the fully staffed and operational Danforth Inn."

Brunyanszki and Verest own and operate the Relais & Chateaux Camden Harbour Inn, and will continue to do so. It's expected that Breda LLC will exit Chapter 11 later this year.

In the release, Brunyanszki said, "Our understanding was that the inn was going to remain open and staff and reservations would not be affected. We were informed about this decision a few days ago and this is unfortunately beyond our control. We're very sorry that this is happening this way." The Camden Harbour Inn has extended offers to two of the employees.

Lark Hotels LLC, which has inns and restaurants throughout New England (as well as one in California), is based in Newburyport, Mass. In Maine, it owns the Captain Fairfield Inn in Kennebunkport, Whitehall in Camden and Pomegranate Inn in Portland.

The Danforth avoided foreclosure earlier in 2018 when its owners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and it went on the market in July for $2.595 million.

Brunyanszki and Verest bought the Federal-style mansion for $2.4 million in 2014. They filed for bankruptcy in March and closed the Tempo Dulu restaurant and Opium bar inside the hotel.

According to its website, the Danforth Inn has nine guest rooms, common spaces and enclosed gardens. The building dates to 1823, when the wife of the original owner, Joseph Holt Ingraham, inherited a fortune from a distant Russian uncle. The home was later sold to the Thomas family, which hired Portland architect John Calvin Stevens to design guest quarters. In 1897, the Danforth became the original location of the private Waynflete School before being sold to the Episcopal diocese in 1941 for $10,000. It operated as a rectory and church office until 1993, when it was transformed into an inn.

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