Published September 26. 2020 06:50AM
The future of the Flagstaff Event Center in Jim Thorpe could finally be coming into focus.
According to listing agent, Tejas Gosai, the historic venue recently sold at an emergency sheriff’s auction for $620,000, though the buyer is yet to be disclosed.
“I will tell you the buyers are clients of mine, they are local to the Bethlehem area, and they are really smart, calculated real estate developers who are going to make significant positive changes.”
Flagstaff hit the auction block in July, drawing a top bid of $1.425 million, which did not meet the reserve price, therefore nixing the deal. Gosai, however, said he immediately started negotiations and his clients, who ultimately ended up with the property, offered $1.225 million in cash, which was rejected by creditors.
“I’m very happy with the people who ended up with it and hopefully we’ll be able to disclose that soon,” Gosai said. “They have a sizeable amount of cash to put into Flagstaff. The future is bright for that property.”
It’s been a wild ride for the 30-acre property that includes Gallo’s Pub and a more than 9,000-square-foot event center with ballroom, which once hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra and the Dorsey Brothers.
Tim Markley, of Surreal Properties, planned a five-story, 78-room condominium hotel that he later scaled back to a 35-room boutique hotel. Before that, Markley proposed a sky tram that would take riders nearly 900 feet from Flagstaff down to Susquehanna Street in Jim Thorpe and back again.
In November 2018, Jim Thorpe businessman Andrew Roberts revived that idea and was granted several variances for a Flagstaff Park project that would feature a five-story, 45-room hotel and restaurant, ballroom, Ferris wheel and 340-space parking lot. The cornerstone of the project, however, was a gondola system connecting the park to downtown Jim Thorpe.
In April, Gosai said, a gentleman from New York toured the property three times with an idea of building 60 small cabins in the hillside and opening a premier yoga retreat.
“We had a deal practically done for $1.625 million and then the individual got COVID-19 and it fell through,” Gosai said.
The venue also drew great interest in the auction in July with one of the bidders being Jaindl Properties.
While he’s excited about the new owners, Gosai said he’s equally disappointed in the vandalism taking place at the site. People have spray-painted graffiti and committed other acts, which is throwing an extra burden on those hoping to launch the reclamation project.
“The people doing these things,” Gosai said, “have no comprehension of what that property will be in less than a year or two.”