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No bidders for former nursing home; county buys Larwill properties

The Daily Record - 2/2/2019

WOOSTER — If the court agrees, Wayne County will become the new owner of a duplex and a vacant lot on the north side of West Larwill Street behind the Wayne County Justice Center.

But the county passed on buying the former Horn Nursing Home at an auction Thursday morning.

So did everyone else.

Local businessman Chad Boreman made the minimum $100,000 bid on behalf of the county for the Larwill duplex and lot that went into foreclosure after Braking Point Recovery Center owner Ryan Sheridan defaulted on the loan he owed to Huntington Bank.

Sheridan, a Youngstown-area businessman, bought the Market Street nursing home and nine other parcels for $1.75 million in 2017 from Sprenger Wayne Ltd. He remains the subject of a multi-agency investigation into allegations of Medicare fraud, conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud and money laundering.

He had proposed making the former Horn facility into his third Braking Point Recovery Center. Though his attempt to secure a tax abatement incentive to develop the detox center failed, Sheridan forged ahead until October of 2017, when the two other Braking Point facilities — in Youngstown and outside Columbus — were raided by the FBI and the employees laid off.

County administrator Patrick Herron said the Larwill Street property was a strategic buy for the county, since property close to any county building is valuable and only infrequently becomes available for sale. “Who knows,” Herron said, “what the future brings.” County Commissioner Sue Smail said that as the county continues to consider plans the the future of the Wayne County Justice Center, “we thought we couldn’t pass it up,” though there currently are no specific plans for its use.

But the Horn property, which brought no bidders at the minimum price of $646,667, wasn’t a cost effective move, according to Herron, due to the amount it would cost to demolish the building and redevelop the site. There might have been interest from the county, Smail said, had someone else purchased the property and was willing to sell the parking lots along Walnut Street that went as part of the package.

There were no others registered to bid, though a number of city officials, representatives of Main Street Wooster and the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce and Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson braved the cold to watch the auction, which was conducted inside the unheated Horn facility.

Canfield-area auctioneer Ron Roman said he was unsure what would come next for the properties that had no bidder. “Hopefully,” he said, “we’ll know in a couple of weeks.”

Reporter Tami Mosser can be reached at 330-287-1655 or tmosser@the-daily-record.com.

CREDIT: TAMI MOSSER

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