Most bids on Moss Landing condos likely to be rejected

Published 9:48 pm Sunday, October 10, 2010

Contributing Edito

Although the auction of nine condominiums at Moss Landing resulted in bids totaling $2,195,000, the majority of those bids will be rejected, according to Stan Friedman, a principal in Progress Companies.
Progress Companies “is the developing and managing entity of Moss Landing and will oversee the project during construction and through to the transfer of management to the Moss Landing Property Owners Association,” the group’s website reads.
“What are you going to do? These are the times we are in now,” Friedman said moments after the bidding on the condominiums concluded.
Seven of the nine bids were at or under $240,000. The nine bids averaged $243,889.
“We’ll reject a lot of them,” Friedman said. “This is way below what they’re worth.”
United Country-The Redfield Group out of Gadsden, Ala., was in charge of the auction. Mike Fisher, president and CEO of the firm, served as auctioneer.
Only two of the nine condominiums were guaranteed sales. Both of them were Villa condominiums with direct, unobstructed view of the Pamlico River. Unit 201 at 309 Moss Way went for $325,000. Unit 202 at 401 Moss Way went for $300,000.
The units were offered with one-year home warranties.
Twenty-one units have been built at the Moss Landing site. Before the auction, 12 units had been sold. Before the auction, one of the remaining two-bedroom units was priced at $369,900, according to Maria Wilson, a real-estate broker who has been trying to sell the empty condominiums.
When first offered for sale, the units ranged in price from $400,000 to $1.2 million each, depending on the unit style, location and amenities.
Friedman said Progress Companies will keep the unsold condominiums on the market, anticipating that they will bring better prices in the future.
Several bidders, including high bidders, asked to discuss their participation in the auction declined to comment. One man, the high bidder on four of the condominiums and who declined to identify himself, said it would be ungentlemanly of him to discuss his bids.
“This has been a labor of love for these partners,” Fisher said of Progress Companies before he began the auction.
Fisher encouraged bidders to use the auction to their benefit.
“In relative dollars, real estate hasn’t been this cheap since the 1980s,” Fisher told the prospective bidders.
Some observers of the auction said it may have been more about marketing the unsold condominiums — letting people know where they are located, their amenities and that they are available — and less about selling all of them, many at below-market prices.
To bid at the auction, participants were required to provide a bid deposit of $10,000 for each unit they wanted to bid on and a bid deposit of $1,000 for each slip in the Marina at Moss Landing they wanted to bid on, according to auction rules.
A 10-percent down payment was due immediately upon a person being declared a buyer of the property. The $10,000 deposit will be credited toward the down payment. The balance of the purchase amount is due at closing within 30 days. A buyer’s premium of 10 percent was added to the successful high bid price to arrive at the total contract price paid by the purchaser, according to auction rules posted on the United Country-The Redfield Group website.
Nine boat slips in the Marina at Moss Landing were offered at auction. Details on those bids were not immediately available early Saturday afternoon.