This story is by Ben. K., who writes at Aurora|Seattle. Thanks Ben!
Another Aurora Avenue motel is for sale. But this time it isn’t a motel owned and operated by Dean and Jill Inman, the former owners of a handful of troubled Aurora motels – two of which were required to be sold under the terms of a April 2010 plea agreement that followed 180 criminal charges for tax violations brought by the city against the owners in August of 2009 (the future of these motels still remains uncertain).
And this time it’s a bit north of Fremont too. The Everspring Inn, located at 8201 Aurora Ave N near Green Lake, is set to be auctioned publicly on January 15, 2011.
According to interim general manager, Steve McDaniels, the minimum bid is set for $1.6 million. McDaniels was hired on December 1 by the court appointed receiver, Construction Expeditors, Inc. when they took over the property after the bank, Prime Pacific, filed for injunctive relief.
Clearly, the Everspring was in financial trouble. King County records show over $85,000 in outstanding tax payments from the past 4 years.
Despite their financial woes, the former owners, William and Kathyrn Harnecker, were known for their hospitable presence in the community, hosting the Aurora’s Day of Gratitude in the fall of 2009. Under the Harnecker’s, the Everspring was also one of the first Aurora motels that service providers turned to when they needed to find a place for family to stay, due to its reputation as one of Aurora’s cleaner and safer motels. And yet it was also the site of a sexual assault last March which was followed by the suspect dying in police custody.
Now, like a number of the Inman motels in Fremont, some of which are now boarded up, the future of the Everspring is uncertain. While the opening bid amount is reportedly set at $1.6 million, the value of the property is listed at just under $1.2 million. If no one shows up with $1.6 million “in hand,” the bank will likely attempt to sell the property privately.
Meanwhile, employees at the nearby Sun Hill motel who formerly worked at the Everspring are reporting that the situation at the Everspring is out of control. The court appointed receiver is not providing around the clock management, they say. In fact, they said, “After 8 p.m., anyone gets inside. Prostitutes go knocking door to door and needles are all over the place. All the furniture is being destroyed.”
But you wouldn’t notice from the outside. The Everspring Inn is one of Aurora’s only enclosed motels.
Though the Harnecker’s have already had to say goodbye to the Everspring, they will continue to own and operate the Sun Hill Motel just north of 85th street, which has also been host to a variety of community events.