City plans to sell shuttered BK’s equipment

Published 10:14 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2009

City Treasurer Ron Williams postponed auctions of restaurant equipment from two closed Burger King franchises to allow for negotiations with potential buyers, he said yesterday.

The auctions were scheduled for last week for the two restaurants, both in North Suffolk. The restaurants closed in October after their owners, Samina and Sarmed Azhar, failed to pay about $20,000 in meals taxes. In September, Williams seized contents of the cash registers and safes at the two Suffolk locations, with the assistance of city sheriff’s deputies.

After the restaurants closed, the city took control of the equipment inside to help pay off the outstanding taxes.

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This week, the bank that owns the shuttered Burger King on Armory Drive in Franklin paid that city more than $7,000 in delinquent business personal property taxes, clearing the way for the franchise to be sold to the restaurant’s national corporation.

Williams had planned to auction restaurant equipment from the two Suffolk locations last week. Instead, he postponed the auctions.

“We postponed those two auctions, because both locations were in negotiations for buyers or interested parties who may come back in and open them up,” Williams said.

Both parties were interested in the equipment inside the restaurants, Williams said. Should the buyers choose to purchase the locations, the city would sell them the equipment inside to cover all remaining funds due to the city, Williams said.

“We don’t feel like there’s any chance of loss to the city,” he said. “We feel like we have enough value in the equipment, we can cover all remaining balance that’s due.”

The Azhars have an arrangement through the court to pay delinquent meals taxes, Williams said.

“At this point, we feel like we’re going to be made whole. We wanted to give all parties the opportunity to do their due diligence.”

In Franklin, Fulton Bank paid more than $7,600 in property taxes owed to that city. Williams said there are no negotiations between the city of Suffolk and the bank at this time.

“Both locations were in negotiations with possible interested parties to come in and reopen these stores,” he said. “If they wanted to use the equipment, we would not sell it prematurely.”