Lasky reportedly negotiates to sell hotel Paterakis potential buyer of Harbor Inn Pier 5

June 13, 1998|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN STAFF

Michael W. Lasky, owner of the bankrupt Inphomation Communications Inc., is negotiating to sell at least his share of the Harbor Inn Pier 5 to John Paterakis, according to a source close to the deal.

An attorney representing the hotel declined yesterday to discuss if any negotiations are under way, and emphatically stated that no deal has been struck.

"At the end of the day, the bottom line for us is there is no deal to sell the hotel," said Robert Schulman, an attorney representing the Harbor Inn.

Paul-Michael Sweeney, the Chapter 11 trustee for Inphomation, said he could not comment on any possible sale but added, "To the extent that there's a source of revenue available to pay creditors of Inphomation, we intend to protect our rights."

Lasky, the operator of Psychic Friends Network, is a co-owner of the recently renovated 71-room waterfront hotel at Baltimore's Inner Harbor with Otis Warren, a Baltimore developer who is also a partner. Neither returned telephone calls yesterday.

Paterakis, the H&S Bakery president who is developing the Wyndham Inner Harbor East Hotel nearby, also could not be reached for comment.

In 1994, the Baltimore Development Corp. chose a group led by Warren to purchase the former Harrison's Pier V hotel -- now Harbor Inn Pier 5 -- for $5.5 million, about one-third of its construction costs.

The city took possession of the hotel in December 1993, after giving the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. $6 million of a $6.6 million municipal loan and exacting $750,000 from its developer, Buddy Harrison.

From its opening until the city took possession, the hotel at 711 Eastern Ave. had experienced financial difficulties, including failure to pay $1.2 million in city property taxes.

According to documents filed in court, the Harbor Inn was one of several investments and hobbies to which Lasky funneled Inphomation money as the company slipped into bankruptcy and creditors went unpaid.

Inphomation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Feb. 2, claiming assets of $1.2 million and liabilities of $26 million. A court-appointed trustee recently agreed that the company has $26 million in liabilities.

But, with the siphoned-off money included, the trustee claims that Inphomation has assets of at least $19.8 million. That figure doesn't include Lasky's personal interests in the Harbor Inn, Regi's Bar & Restaurant, his Hunt Valley home and a stable of racehorses, court records say.

Pub Date: 6/13/98

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