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Former adult bookstore site to be offered at foreclosure auction Thursday

PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire – from www.seacoastonline.com – — A piece of real estate which until recently was one of the city’s three adult book store properties will be offered for sale Thursday during a foreclosure auction.

Located at 80 Spaulding Turnpike, the former Spaulding Book & Video property is scheduled to be auctioned by James St. Jean auctioneers on August 5 at 10 a.m. According to a listing for the auction, the property is assessed for $432,700 and taxes are $7,395 a year. St. Jean Auctioneers notes the location is zoned as in a General Business district with an average daily traffic count of 31,000.

The auction is being advertised by the attorneys for the mortgagee and terms call for a $10,000 deposit with the balance due within 30 days of purchase.

The adult store closed last month when the city tax office reported the business owed $3,764 in back property taxes. The Herald’s efforts to reach the owner were unsuccessful.

According to city assessment records, the property is owned by Rayson Property Management LLC. Secretary of State reports filed by Rayson Property Management since the corporation’s formation in 2001 list only one agent, Vincent St. Louis Jr., of Dover. In his filings with the Secretary of State’s office, St. Louis reported the corporation was formed for the purpose of “real estate property management.”

The Secretary of State’s office currently lists Rayson Property Management as “not in good standing” with the state.

In 1995, Spaulding Book & Video was brought to court by the owner of an adjacent bridal shop, which has since relocated. Superior Court Judge Kenneth McHugh oversaw an agreement between the neighboring businesses that stipulated that the adult store would limit the number of video viewing booths to 14 and keep the parking lot clean.

Viewing booths were removed from all three of the city’s adult stores in 2008 after the city health inspector reportedly found violations of city ordinance regulating them. Online postings suggested the booths were sometimes used for sexual encounters, while City Attorney Bob Sullivan said the ordinance required the viewing booths to be well lit, clean, have no holes in the walls and be visible from all common areas of the stores.

“The ordinance is intended to protect public health,” he said. “These have proven to be places where there is anonymous sexual activity and indiscriminate dispersal of bodily fluids. By requiring the booths to be lighted and visible from common areas of the business, the theory is that anonymous sexual activity will decrease.”

Sullivan said a new owner could assume an adult business at the location because once a lawful use of a property is established, it is allowed to continue from owner to owner unless it’s abandoned. That the business has been closed for about a month due to financial hardship would not likely be viewed by a court as abandoned, he said.

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