This image of a proposed redevelopment of the east side of Saco Island was posted online by the City of Saco. Credit: Courtesy of City of Saco

The sale of a condominium and commercial building on Saco Island is being delayed after the developer and the city of Saco agreed to extend the closing date.

The city had a tentative agreement in place with Saulnier Development to close on the property today. The sale price is $400,000.

Last week the city and an attorney for developer Bernie Saulnier extended the closing date until Aug. 1, according to information released by Saulnier Development.

The property, on the western part of the island, includes a condominium association. Saulnier already owns an abutting property. The property Saulnier is purchasing was foreclosed against, said Saco City Administrator Kevin Sutherland. The city had taken possession of it and now is selling it to Saulnier.

The delayed closing came after the title insurance company asked that two releases be obtained, one from a TD Bank mortgage and a second from the condo association deed, said David Ordway, Saulnier’s attorney.

“The parties agreed to extend the time to cure what the title insurance company wanted,” Ordway said.

Separately, the developer had asked the city for clarification about whether it really wants him to buy the property.

In a June 19 letter to Saco City Administrator Kevin Sutherland, Saulnier indicated that some city council members were discussing his “desirability” as a buyer and that the city might want to find another buyer. He asked Sutherland to have the city council formally express its approval or disapproval of the proposed sale to Saulnier Development by July 3.

He said he is unaware of any formal response by the city council to his letter.

“Whatever they decide is fine with me,” Saulnier said in a prepared statement.

Saulnier has been involved in other developments that have drawn criticism, including condominiums in Old Orchard Beach and on Munjoy Hill in Portland.

Sutherland said two city council members cast dissenting votes for Saulnier to buy the property, but the sale to Saulnier was approved.

“We’ve addressed his issues,” Sutherland said. “We want to ensure we sell property to the party who will do the most benefit to the community.” He said it makes sense to sell the building, known as Unit 91, to Saulnier, since he already owns the abutting building, which shares heat and other systems.

Sutherland said the current buildings include 24 percent commercial property, which depresses the price of existing condos. If Saulnier can decrease that to less than 20 percent, the value of the building will rise, Sutherland said.

Saulnier also owns six acres on the eastern side of the island. The Waters, his proposed $40 million, mixed-use development, would include a boutique hotel, condos, retail space, a marina with improved access to the waterfront and a riverfront trail open to the public.

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