NORWAY — The sale of the 19th century Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street has fallen through because no engineering plans or building permits can be found for it, Realtor Micheal Jacobson said Tuesday.
“We're kind of dead in the water,” the broker for King Real Estate in Falmouth said. The three-story building, which has been vacant for years, was under contract to an unspecified buyer from Maine.
Jacobson said no one has been able to find any engineering plans or building permits for the building and that's what killed the sale. The potential buyer had planned to develop it into residential and retail spaces.
“You can hire an engineer (to do the plans) but I haven't found anyone willing to do that,” he said.
The interior was gutted by owner Harvey Solomon before a bank foreclosed on it and tried to sell it at auction in March 2011. Dawn and Harvey Solomon of New Horizons Capital Investment of Norway purchased it in July 2008 for $63,500. They told town officials they planned to renovate it and reopen storefronts on the first floor. In 2010 the Solomons tried to sell it for $179,000.
Although the couple secured the back wall and cleared the interior of debris, renovations stopped in 2010 just before Dawn Solomon was charged and subsequently convicted of bilking the state's MaineCare system out of more than $4 million.
The building was put up for auction by TD Bank, along with a dozen other Solomon properties. According to town assessor Jodi Keniston, town records list the bank as the owner.
A study of Odd Fellows Hall by Resurgence Engineering and Preservation Inc. of Portland several years ago indicated it would take more than $800,000 to fully renovate it.
The basement and first floor were built in 1894, and the top floors added in 1910. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the historic downtown district. It once housed the District Court, a jail and businesses.