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White Inn deal is ‘promising’

OBSERVER file photo A “good outcome” is expected for the White Inn in Fredonia.

Two of the leaders in the effort to reopen the White Inn are reporting progress, though they are remaining tight-lipped about the details.

In the last week, Fredonia Mayor Douglas Essek has offered a rosy report to the Board of Trustees, and Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency chief Mark Geise promised some news about the inn.

A vital, historic part of downtown Fredonia, the White Inn has sat closed and vacant for years. Its previous owner ran into financial problems and had his mortgage foreclosed. The company that held the mortgage, JG Funding of Staten Island, eventually bought the place at auction.

Essek said at Monday’s trustees meeting a new, local owner could be on the way soon.

“Myself and the county are working with a local businessperson that might purchase the White Inn,” the mayor said. “We should have some news coming up here probably next month, one way or another. But it looks promising.”

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WHITE INN

The negotiations for a new owner have been going on for months. Geise said in March talks were underway with an interested party. He said then the potential purchaser planned to take a couple months to look at the condition of the buildings and its furnishings before committing.

Geise was asked via email on June 20 if there was anything new with the talks.

“I don’t want to say anything at this point and perhaps soil the deal,” he responded. “Everything is on track for a good outcome.”

There should be some “breaking news” to report about the inn soon, he added.

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