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Prince Charles Hotel set for auction March 6

The crumbling Prince Charles Hotel is set to be sold at public auction next week.


According to a bankruptcy plan approved by court order, the property must be auctioned by March 6, Fayetteville officials said Wednesday.


But the lawyer for John Chen, who owns the dilapidated building, said Wednesday that he was not aware of any date or location having been set for the sale.


The Fayetteville City Council consulted lawyers about the building in closed session Monday, but took no action afterward.


Multiple suitors have attempted to revive the Prince Charles through the years. Chen, a New York-based developer, bought it in 2007. He later got into a disagreement with the city over historic windows he replaced with vinyl. Chen began renting individual units until the city evicted his tenants and closed the building in 2010, calling it a fire hazard.


David Levinson, who developed Anderson Creek Club in Harnett County, took charge of a partnership with Chen in late 2012 with a view to renovate the hotel as a mixed-use development with condominiums and commercial space. But the cost of the renovations increased from Levinson’s original estimate because of damage caused by vandals. Levinson abandoned his plans in December after the city confirmed it would not contribute financially to the project.


The building is owned by King David LLC, which was the partnership between Levinson and Chen until Levinson relinquished his stake in it.


An agreement with the city requires Levinson to divest his shares in the building and have it auctioned. Lonnie Player, Levinson’s lawyer, said via email Tuesday that Levinson transferred all of his rights, title and interest in the corporation to Chen.


“I don’t have anything else to report on it,” said Robert Fields, Chen’s Raleigh-based lawyer.


According to court documents, about $62,000 in city and county taxes owed on the property and two adjoining parcels were paid in January.


Among the potential bidders is Clarence Briggs, owner of Advanced Internet Technologies, which occupies the building next to the Prince Charles on Hay Street.


“We were there for the last one,” Briggs said.


Over several years, Briggs and Chen had tried to make a deal to combine the adjacent buildings, but those efforts fell through. Briggs was among several interested parties who showed up in April 2012, the last time the hotel was up for auction. That auction was called off when Chen filed for bankruptcy. Later that year, Levinson announced plans to renovate the hotel as a mixed-use development, plans that were abandoned in December.