It's like a scene out of the reality show "Storage Wars."
An auctioneer, eight bidders, a lawyer and a loan agent stand on the corner of Washington and Chilcott Place at noon on an unseasonably cool April day.
For awhile, the auctioneer reads legalese, barely loud enough for anyone to hear. But they've heard it all before, so it hardly matters. The bidders who come to these auctions know one another and see each other across the city and region at similar sidewalk gatherings.
This is a foreclosure auction. And it moves fast.
Today the bidding doesn't get crazy. In fact, only one person bids at all. Fred Starikov of City Realty Group agrees to pay $715K.
Going three times.
Sold for $715,000.
And that's it, aside from a bit of paperwork Starikov and McMillan work up, right there on the sidewalk.
One potential bidder calls out to Starikov to make sure he gets his money's worth from ad giant Clear Channel for the billboard atop the property. And the bidders fan out, moving on to the next auction. They tend to happen on the hour, all around the city and region.
Tenants of the building include the Dominican restaurant Pin Bochinche, Anibal Color Studio, Cristo Hair Design and Bienestar Familiar (Family Wellness.) What the new building ownership will mean for them isn't clear.
Luis Edgardo Cotto, the new executive director of Egleston Square Main Street, said he hopes to work with the new owner to make sure he's aware the business and community development organization has an ongoing relationship with the merchants who rent there. Cotto said he'd ask that the new owner uphold existing leases, make capital improvements (including addressing flooding in the back of the property) and to consider removing the billboard when its lease is up in the fall.
Chris Tobin of JP-based Endeavor Capital was on hand to talk to the winning bidder about financing. Tobin attends a lot of these auctions. He said the day's turnout was good, but not as crazy as it was when more foreclosed properties were on the market.
Starikov, who bought the 3152-3160 property, didn't want to detail his plans for the property just yet, but said he would do so soon. So look for a follow-up post on that score.
Oddly enough, the foreclosure auction at 3152-3160 wasn't the only one in Egleston that morning. Earlier, the building that houses Washington Fragrances and Tony's Travel sold at a similar public auction for $538,000, according to one witness.
To stay up to date on upcoming auctions — whether to take part in them as a bidder or to keep an eye out for possible ones to picket in protest — legal ads usually appear in the Gazette, Globe and Herald. The auction for 3152-3160 Washington was advertised in the Metro.