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Cape Cod Times

August 08, 2013

BOURNE — CanalSide Commons, a controversial multi-use proposal that lingered for over a decade without being built, will be up for auction later this month as part of foreclosure proceedings.

The 152-acre property will be auctioned at 11 a.m. Aug. 20, according to Boston-based auctioneers Daniel P. McLaughlin & Co.

A minimum bid won't be set by the mortgage lender until the day of the auction, McLaughlin said in a phone interview Wednesday.

But the "high-profile" property is already permitted for 300 housing units and 85,000 square feet of retail space and boasts access from Sandwich Road, MacArthur Boulevard and the Bourne Bridge Rotary, which could render it attractive, he said.

"There's years and years of permitting that has taken place here. To be able to go in and buy something and not really go through that intense regulatory process is pretty unique," McLaughlin said.

And, he added, the 67,000-square-foot Market Basket supermarket built last year in Sagamore "has kind of proven that these gateway locations are pretty desirable for retailers."

Developer Lenord "Len" Cubellis first unveiled plans for CanalSide Commons, including 550,000 square feet of retail space, in 1998. After years of back-and-forth, a revised project with 85,000 square feet of commercial space and 300 residential units was approved by state, town and Cape Cod Commission officials.

But construction never occurred, and in 2008 Cubellis filed a civil suit against the DeCicco family and its land trust, which owns the property. The suit alleged a breach of contract and ordered the trust to stop its attempts to sell the property to a third party.

In July 2010, Cubellis and L. Mark DeCicco settled out of court for $3.8 million. The settlement also transferred Cubellis' long-held development rights back to the landowners.

At the time, DeCicco said the family still planned to develop the land.

But on June 27, Barnstable Superior Court Judge Gary A. Nickerson approved Cubellis' request to move forward with a foreclosure on the property. In the filing, Cubellis reported a "default in the payment of principal and interest" on the property's mortgage.

It was unclear in court records whether the 2010 settlement had anything to do with Cubellis' request to foreclose.

Neither Cubellis nor his attorney returned messages seeking comment Wednesday. DeCicco could not be reached.

Town of Bourne officials also did not return messages Wednesday.

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