Bank buys Pace House Inn

Published 10:56 pm Friday, July 15, 2011

COURTLAND—The bank that holds the mortgage for the Pace House Inn was the only bidder for the former Franklin bed and breakfast during a Friday auction outside the Southampton County Courthouse.

Community Bank got the property for $175,000 and is looking to sell it, said Ralph Dempsey, the bank’s regional vice president.

“We’re going to maximize what we can get out of it from the marketability study,” Dempsey said.

The bank will begin taking offers immediately, while for-sale signs will be posted in about 30 days.

Pamela Panton, a Franklin resident and friend of the Pace House’s former owner, Dan Hunt, said she hopes the property will be sold for a bed and breakfast.

“I hope they don’t knock it down,” Panton said. “Any use of the building would be nice. It’s a lovely place.”

Panton told Norfolk attorney John Lumpkin, who was acting as substitute trustee for the property, that there has been very little interest in the property in the last year.

The $175, 000 “starting bid” by Community Bank was much lower than the $360,000 the property sold for in 2006.