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TiNovo facing auction; Restaurant owner working to avoid foreclosure.

Byline: Martin Luttrell

WORCESTER - The owner of TiNovo restaurant - closed since the beginning of the year - is working with his lender to avoid foreclosure on the property at 55 Pearl St.

The property is set to be auctioned Feb. 6 if owner Mitchell A. Terricciano cannot reach an agreement with Digital Federal Credit Union, which loaned him a total of $1,950,000 in three transactions in 2005 and 2006, according to documents on file at the Registry of Deeds.

Mr. Terricciano, who operated Tiano's restaurant on Grove Street until July 2004, purchased the granite Victorian gothic building on Pearl Street, known as the Bull Mansion, for $255,000 in August 2005. Renovations to the historic building pushed the project over $2 million. The restaurant, with three dining rooms, a bar and lounge, and room for 250 people, opened in December 2005.

TiNovo, which employed 42, served its last meals on New Year's Eve. Earlier this month Mr. Terricciano said the restaurant was closed for temporary restructuring, and that he hoped to reopen late this month or early in February.

He did not return telephone calls yesterday seeking comment.

The Telegram & Gazette published legal notices on Jan. 15 and 22 advertising the foreclosure proceedings and auction at the property slated for 11 a.m. Feb. 6.

James R. Simmons, a Providence lawyer representing Digital Federal Credit Union, said the credit union had no comment on the proceeding.

The windows at TiNovo were dark and no one answered the door of the restaurant yesterday afternoon. The restaurant's telephone answering service has a recording of Mr. Terricciano apologizing for any inconvenience the closing may have caused, and saying that he was submitting "final business plans" that he expected to be approved.

Timothy J. McGourthy, the city's director of economic development, said Mr. Terricciano has been meeting with officials from the credit union to come up with a financial restructuring plan. He said he was hopeful the restaurant would reopen.

"It's our hope that they will be able to successfully work with DCU to restructure their finances and bring the restaurant back," he said. "They have until Feb. 6, and they've been meeting with them. It's our hope that it will be back."

In 2005, Sherman March LLC, the limited liability company Mr. Terricciano created to own the Pearl Street property, received a mortgage insurance guarantee for $250,000 from the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, a state agency that provides financing to stimulate economic growth.

Ronald A. Dahill, vice president of lending at the agency, said the mortgage insurance guarantee would pay the lender up to $250,000 if the lender has to liquidate the collateral and there is still a shortfall on what is owed.

Contact business reporter Martin Luttrell by e-mail at mluttrell@telegram.com.
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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jan 25, 2007
Words:464
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