Despite being mired in legal wrangling and thorny bankruptcy proceedings, the Thatched Cottage in Centerport has been sold to a Long Island real estate investment firm.

Hauppauge-based The Crest Group, headed by Enrico Scarda, bought the shuttered 21,000-square-foot waterfront catering facility from Bethpage Federal Credit Union for $2.8 million in a deal that closed last week.

As one of the largest creditors of the property’s former owner Ralph Colamussi, Bethpage FCU ended up owning the facility after a buyer at a Sept. 2014 auction backed out of a $4.65 million bid for it.

Yama Raj, owner of The Sterling Caterers, didn’t go through with the deal after a scathing engineer’s report cited its run-down condition. After Raj didn’t close on the sale by the Nov. 2014 deadline, R. Kenneth Barnard, the Chapter 11 trustee of Thatched Cottage, sold the property in January 2015 to the credit union, which was owed a debt of $5.7 million.

The bankruptcy trustee then sued the Town of Huntington for hampering the sale to Raj by declaring the catering hall “unsafe and unfit for human habitation,” according to court filings. The suit is still ongoing. Colamussi had blamed the facility’s downfall with costs associated with Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy.

Built on 2.18 acres in 1920, the main catering hall of the Thatched Cottage is a three-story structure with a 3,150-square-foot kitchen, a 2,100-square-foot office and a 15,750-square-foot public area with a maximum capacity of 831. A 1.08-acre off-site parking lot with 350 parking spaces was also included in the sale.

Mark Walsh of Select Real Equity Advisors in Huntington Station represented the seller and Roger Post of Northport-based Post Properties represented the buyer in the sales transaction.

“It’s a great opportunity for the new buyer to redevelop the Thatched Cottage and bring it back to a first-class waterfront catering facility,” Walsh said.

In May, the Crest Group purchased the Danford’s Hotel & Marina in Port Jefferson for a little more than $20 million from Wilton, Conn.-based Westport Property Management.

Original article posted here.

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