published Friday, May 9th, 2014

Allen Casey's dilapidated barge in Chattanooga is for sale at $50,000

A $50,000 bid could get you a barge on the Tennessee River in downtown Chattanooga, though you'd have to move it.

An attorney for a company owned by Chattanooga businessman Allen Casey proposes in U.S. Bankruptcy Court papers to put the controversial barge up for sale for no less than $50,000.

David Fulton said in court papers that a prospective buyer also will need insurance for any damage caused in relocating the run-down barge, which Casey had hoped to turn into a riverfront restaurant and bar.

Bankruptcy Court Judge Shelley Rucker has set a hearing for 10 a.m. Thursday on Fulton's request.

The court papers also said that a lawyer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has revoked the vessel's permit, is looking at fixing a date by which the barge must be moved, or it will hire a contractor to do so.

Fulton said the corps attorney didn't give him the date. The corps declined to weigh in, saying that it "can't address the status of an ongoing enforcement action or comment on pending litigation."

Fulton said he set the $50,000 figure after another attorney representing a group of investors suing Casey indicated there was a potential buyer who would pay that amount.

  • photo
    A former restaurant barge, purchased by Allen Casey and docked at his property on the North Shore of the Tennessee River for several years, is seen from the Olgiati Bridge.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
    enlarge photo

"I made it the floor," Fulton said.

Attorney Gary Patrick, who represents the investors, has challenged the assertion that Casey company River City Resort owns the barge. He has said that his clients have ownership, and that Casey can't sell what he doesn't own.

In March, the corps ordered the vessel be removed from its mooring on the river next to a vacant tract of land across from Ross's Landing.

But Casey and his company later filed bankruptcy petitions as they faced a civil trial in Hamilton County Chancery Court over the lawsuit brought by the investors. Patrick said Casey and his company defrauded his clients relating to a portion of the 11-acre tract, claims that Casey has denied.

Casey had the barge floated to Chattanooga from Pittsburgh in 2009. Nothing was built on it and it became dilapidated, drawing wide criticism and calls for its removal.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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