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June 15, 2022

Enfield warehouse with recent legal troubles sells for $7.5M

CoStar 53 Manning Road, Enfield

A 363,568-square-foot Enfield warehouse whose owner faced a string of troubles in recent years recently sold for $7.5 million.

The warehouse at 53 Manning Road was built in 1961 to serve greeting card giant Hallmark. It sold to Massachusetts-based KBRC Realty LLC in 2020 for $2.1 million.

According to land records, KBRC has recently cleared a string of lawsuits and liens against the property, including contractors who claimed they were not fully paid for a conversion of a portion of the building into self-storage. Massachusetts-based Country Bank for Savings dropped a suit claiming late payments on a $2.3 million mortgage.

In April 2021, the New York Times featured the difficulties the couple behind KBRC – Chip and Rosanna LaBonte – faced clearing away a mountain of store decorations, mannequins and other trash abandoned by former tenant Brooks Brothers after the retailer declared bankruptcy.

The New York Times article claimed the LaBontes might be forced to sell their Sherborn, Massachusetts home to pay the estimated $240,000 cost for clearing away the junk.

The principal of KBRC is Walter O. LaBonte Jr., of Sherborn, Massachusetts, according to a business filing with the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office. Town land use documents record his nickname as “Chip.”

An attempt to reach LaBonte Wednesday morning was not immediately successful.

In September 2021, Massachusetts-based developer BRT Management filed a lawsuit against LaBonte and KBRC Realty, claiming KBRC failed to pay $538,626 due for a project creating self-storage space at 53 Manning Road. The suit claimed that work began in May 2019 and that BRT was improperly dismissed from the job when only punch-list items remained. BRT had already filed a mechanic’s lien against the property in September 2020.

KBRC countersued, claiming BRT submitted a doctored claim from a subcontractor, and then didn’t pay that subcontractor in full despite receiving the inflated sum. The alleged partially paid subcontractor also placed a lien against 53 Manning Road. These are among claims released recently, according to Enfield land records.

The warehouse and 14 associated acres at 53 Manning Road sold to All Purpose Storage Enfield LLC and Nikolas Chugay through a deal recorded by the town May 11. The deed does not specify a sales price. City staff say the new owners paid conveyance taxes based on a $7.5 million transaction.

The principal of All Purpose Storage Enfield LLC is Patriot Properties Management, of Las Vegas, according to state business records. That principal shares an address with Patriot Holdings, an investment firm claiming management of more than 2 million square feet in 70 commercial properties worth more than $280 million. 

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