WATERVILLE (AP) – Negotiations to sell the former C.F. Hathaway Co. building to an Arizona developer have collapsed, and the focus of efforts to revive shirtmaking has shifted to Dexter.

The developer, Michael Peloquin, rejected the city of Waterville’s offer to sell the mill for $950,000 cash.

“It’s a ridiculous final proposal,” Peloquin said. “If that’s (the) final proposal, God be it. We’ll go to Dexter.”

Peloquin said he plans to buy a former Dexter Shoe Co. building for $159,000 and move the Hathaway shirtmaking equipment to Dexter.

Dexter Town Manager Bob Simpson said Thursday he has had one conversation with Peloquin about a possible sale of the building.

“We would certainly do anything we could to help facilitate any move to Dexter that would bring jobs here,” he said. “We’re going to create jobs here.”

Peloquin’s first offer last November was $1.3 million for the Hathaway building on Water Street in Waterville. The city lowered the price to $950,000 after an appraisal.

This week, Peloquin, principal owner of Atlantic Partners, offered $750,000 cash for the building. Another recent offer was $750,000 cash plus an additional $200,000 to be financed over a period of five years with 2 percent interest.

City Solicitor William Lee said city councilors had decided not to act as a bank for Peloquin unless he disclosed his finances.

“We abandoned the approach of owner-financing because he and Atlantic Partners have refused to provide financial disclosure that would be necessary for the city to finalize the sale of the property,” Lee said.

Waterville officials said the city’s possible financial liability was also a reason for ending negotiations.

If the city held the mortgage for the building, the economy worsened and Peloquin backed out of the deal, the city would be responsible for any bills the developer incurred from contractors, said City Councilor Antone “T.J.” Tavares.

“It’s just a bad deal all around,” Tavares said. “He’s the one that keeps dragging his feet and making revisions to the contract, not the city.”

Peloquin insisted that he did give Lee adequate information about his finances, and he said he was good for the money.

“He’s got letters from my bank,” Peloquin said. “I have a $35 million line of credit. If he has any questions as to my financial wealth, he knows he can call me – which he’s never done.”

Lee said a federal agency that holds the largest lien on the Hathaway property appraised it at $950,000, and the city was told it would have to make up the difference if the property was sold for less than that amount.

Peloquin has not purchased the Hathaway shirtmaking equipment from Windsong Allegiance Apparel Group, the mill’s owner when it shut down last October, according to Andy Tarshis, a Windsong lawyer. The Westport, Conn.-based firm is asking $300,000 for the equipment.

AP-ES-04-24-03 1213EDT

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