In the market for a motel? You’re in luck.

Two vacant motels that serve as symbols of blight leading into Atlantic City are going to the auction block next month, a local real estate auctioneer says.

Ventnor-based AC Auction Realty will conduct on-site auctions May 8 for the Bayview Inn, which sits at Atlantic City’s entrance, and the Inn of the Dove in Egg Harbor Township, said real estate broker Robert Salvato. Late last week, large yellow signs promoting the public sales were placed on chain-link fences that surround the motels, which have long harbored crime. During a 2017 drug raid at the Bayview Inn, authorities infamously found an alligator in the pool.

Salvato said the motel owners contacted him to auction the properties. According to real estate records, SomDev Real Estate LLC owns the Bayview on Albany Avenue and Irma Investments LLC owns the Inn of the Dove on the Black Horse Pike.

Owners of the Bayview could not be reached. Representatives for Irma Investments LLC confirmed Wednesday the Inn of the Dove is going to auction but declined to comment further.

Minimum bids have not been set, Salvato said.

The public sales come as the city works to demolish the Bayview, which has visibly deteriorated over the past year. Officials have called the rundown motel an uninviting eyesore, and have said squatters may be living inside the rundown, vacant building.

“The auctions are on site so people can 100 percent see what they’re buying,” said Salvato, whose company is licensed with the state. “I understand (the Bayview) has a demo order. ... We have to make the potential buyer aware of all the issues on the property.”

The Bayview is assessed at $650,000, according to the Atlantic City Tax Assessor’s Office. A $300,000 lien was placed on the property in December. City Licensing and Inspections Director Dale Finch said there’s an order to demolish the building, which has been deemed unsafe for habitation.

Nine miles down the road, the Inn of the Dove is also listed for auction. The property is assessed at $1.1 million, township records show.

Former township Mayor James “Sonny” McCullough said the inn was successful when it first opened, serving as a “cheaters hideaway” complete with hot tubs and “pornographic televisions.” Over the years, he said, it declined in quality.

“The only thing I can tell you is it’s a good location on the Black Horse Pike,” McCullough said. “If somebody buys it for land use, tears it down and puts something better there, that’d probably be the best use.”

Fire officials closed the inn in February 2018, citing a faulty fire alarm system and $8,000 owed in fines and penalties to the township. Twenty residents living there were displaced.

Parts of the inn reopened after the owners rebuilt the fire alarm system, but it closed again late last year.

“Things slowed up over there, and they eventually shut the business down,” said Donald Stauffer, Egg Harbor Township fire official. “It’s been sitting there empty, and they fenced it in to keep people out.”

Both motels have long attracted drug activity and crime.

An Egg Harbor Township man, 26-year-old Jamal Campos, was charged in 2017 with leading a drug ring out of the Bayview after authorities raided the property. He was sentenced to 20 years in February.

The Inn of the Dove also harbored illegal activity. Before closing, Egg Harbor Township police charged two people in November 2017 with drug offenses after seizing heroin, cocaine and cash from their motel rooms.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has agreed to fund the Bayview’s demolition, and a lawsuit holding up its demolition was tossed Wednesday.

Deep Blue Development, a group interested in buying the property last year, recently sued the city, contending the lien placed on the motel was preventing the firm from redeveloping the land and requested the demolition be paused. An attorney for Deep Blue Development did not respond to requests for comment.

Atlantic County Superior Judge Julio Mendez denied the firm’s request, clearing the way for demolition. The cost of tearing it down was estimated at about $230,000.

In his denial, Mendez gave a green light to the demolition, citing “significant public safety concerns” if it continues to stay as is.

“Now we will begin to put the gears in motion to have it demolished,” Finch said after the decision was made. “We are moving forward.”

Contact: 609-272-7258 Twitter @AvalonZoppo

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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