Large Manchester property on Main Street changes hands

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MANCHESTER — A large Manchester property on Main Street at the northern end of town on Route 7A has changed hands.

The property — about 45 acres at 5940 Main St. has 1,500 feet of road frontage just a little north of Barnumville Road.

The property has some history in town, with an attempt beginning a decade or more ago to build a large hotel, restaurant and spa on that location under the name of Aeolus Mountain Spa.

The person behind that effort, Alpaslan Basdogan, was the seller when the property closed in late May.

Doing business as Vermont Turquoise Hospitality, LLC, the property was listed at $4.5 million. It closed at just under $1.8 million.

The buyer was listed as Orchid, LLC, of Manchester. The Secretary of State's Corporations Division lists the LLC's principles as William and Stephen Drunsic of Manchester.

"This opportunity kind of arose and we decided to jump on it," Stephen Drunsic said. "It's a beautiful piece of property. The view down the valley and it's remarkably protected from Route 7. It's a nice piece of property."

Stephen Drunsic said he wasn't at the point of being able to talk about plans for the site, but said the original permitting for the hotel and spa is still in place.

"We acquired the property," Drunsic said. "It's fully permitted for an 80 room hotel. We are not at the point of being able to make a decision."

He also stressed that the owners had no immediate plans to begin any activity on the site other than the archaeological work currently underway.

That archaeological work is what Basdogan was waiting on three years ago after an initial Act 250 assessment discovered Native American artifacts potentially dating back 10,000 years.

The prompted a more thorough archaeological dig, which is now underway as the Drunsics have hired a firm to complete that part of the project.

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Basdogan is the owner of Depot 62, a restaurant and furniture store on Depot Street. He's also president of Asia Minor Carpets Inc.

Efforts to reach Basdogan were unsuccessful. An employee at Depot 62 said he was out of the country.

Basdogan's plans for the property were to build a hotel, restaurant and spa at 5940 Main St.

A decade or more ago, Basdogan, along with business partner Suzanne Tremblay, was planning to build the destination that would feature a lifestyle spa modeled after those found in Turkish, Mediterranean and European locations, according to a Journal article written in 2016. At that time, they believed they were close to breaking ground on a 80-room hotel, 160-seat restaurant and spa, along with galleries and workshop areas.

Basdogan had hoped to be open by late in 2017.

It never happened.

Drunsic said he couldn't talk about what their plans for the site were, but he said the property is fully permitted.

Drunsic said the aim is to develop the property in a manner that takes into account the needs of the community and neighbors, some of whom had taken issues with Basdogan's plans due to expected noise, traffic and other impacts.

"If we were to proceed with some kind of commercial development, we would try to respect neighborly input to the best of our abilities without compromising our vision and investment goals," Stephen Drunsic said.

But, he pointed out, 'We are not certain if we'll proceed with that."

He said they are going through the necessary steps to do their due diligence and the first step in that is to complete the archaeological dig, which is underway.

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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