A Searsport Avenue motel that once contracted with the city to provide temporary housing for people on General Assistance went on the auction block Sept. 26 but drew no bidders.

Owner Akee Parwaz said he bought the 20-room motel for his nephew 15 years ago but ended up running it himself from Massachusetts, where he makes his primary living as a car dealer.

Recently, when he learned that his general manager for the last 10 years would not continue at the business, he decided to sell.

"I'm an absentee owner," he said. "You really need somebody who's going to live here and run it."

Parwaz said he paid $480,000 for the building and has mostly paid off the investment through nightly and long-term rentals. He hoped to sell the business for a bit more than he paid but no bidders materialized on Wednesday.

The next step, he said, is to list it with a local real estate agent.

Tedesco Auctions presided over the planned public sale. Wally Nordberg, an independent auctioneer helping with the auction, said the company received a number of phone calls but no in-person interest, which he said is not typical.

"I figure if we'd had three or four people here, we would sell it," he said.

Admiral's Ocean Inn previously had been used by the city for emergency short-term housing through the city's General Assistance program. However, Parwaz said that ended more than a year ago when the city stopped paying for occupants.

From 2016 to earlier this year, he said, he had to evict some occupants at significant expense and subsequently spent $146,000 renovating damaged rooms.

"It was bad," he said. "It was terrible."

City Manager Joe Slocum confirmed that the city no longer places General Assistance clients at Admiral's Ocean Inn but disputed Parwaz's account.

"We stopped sending people to the Inn because we felt it was not well maintained," he said. "I don't know what his eviction issues were as we only placed people there for limited periods of time."