Real Estate

Sperry Van Ness to hold national online auction

September 23, 2012
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Starting bids range from one dollar to $26 million in the very first Sperry Van Ness International online auction, which takes place Oct. 23-25 at svnauctionevent.com. More than 100 properties are projected to be up for grabs once the auction starts. The total value of the national portfolio is expected to be around $120 million.

“This is a big event and the first time ever. This is the good stuff,” said Pete Colvin, chairman of the national single tenant group with Sperry Van Ness Silveri Co. in Grand Rapids.

Office, retail, industrial, multi-family and vacant parcels are in the auction mix. Many are bank owned. As of last week, at least six of the listed properties are in Michigan. One site is three vacant acres on Stephens Road near Gratiot Avenue in Macomb County’s Eastpointe, once known as East Detroit. The opening bid for the parcel, which is zoned light industrial, is just $1.

A portfolio of nine fully leased government office buildings in five states, including one in Michigan’s capital city of Lansing, has a starting bid of $26 million with a 10 percent cap rate. The nine have 208,691 square feet and are fully occupied with long-term tenants.

“We have made it very easy for brokers to represent their clients and have made the buyer’s premium very affordable. This event is unique to Sperry Van Ness and our advisors, like Peter Colvin and Dave De Maagd, have seized the opportunity to offer both their listing clients and investors an exciting way to buy and sell investment property,” Sperry Van Ness President and CEO Kevin Maggiacamo told the Business Journal.

Colvin, De Maagd and Chris Colvin, Pete’s son, have multiple properties listed in the auction. Three are retail centers anchored by Dollar General stores in Cass City, Olivet and Chesaning. Opening bids for the trio range from $399,000 to $899,000.

“We chose those specifically because Dollar General stores are very attractive to investors. It’s a Fortune 500 company and has an investment-grade credit rating,” said Colvin.

They also have an office building in Port Huron that AT&T leases for a call center. The opening bid is $3.9 million. “The seller paid nearly $6 million for it seven years ago. It’s right on the river and is a very nice investment with an A-rated tenant,” said Colvin.

“These are motivated sellers that want a sale to close by the end of the year. Many of these are bank owned, and the banks want them off their books. So this is a way that we can pretty much facilitate that,” he added.

Colvin said the auction should draw buyers with varied interests and reasons for bidding because of its inclusive portfolio. “The property types are shopping centers, apartment complexes, office buildings, hotels, industrial buildings, single-tenant credit deals. Most auctions are for raw land and vacant buildings because they can’t figure out another way to sell it than auction it off,” he said.

“This is different. These are prime properties. It’s very rare for an auction to have good stuff like that.”

Sperry Van Ness has listed the properties in three groups, not by types but by the day each will be up for auction. Each listing will be open for bidding on one day for approximately five hours and not for the three-day run of the online sale. Each property lists the day and time it will be auctioned.

Interested buyers need to register by paying a $1,000 fee via a credit card, which is refundable if a property isn’t purchased. Doing so gives bidders access to the complete listings well ahead of the auction date. The environmental documents, title insurance and a host of other details are available at the auction site in what the company calls the “due-diligence vault.”

“If you win the property, then you have to send the rest of the deposit to the title company right away, and you have so many days to close after that, depending on the purchase agreement,” said Colvin. “We have an auction division at Sperry Van Ness that has been very successful. They’ve been doing specific properties or small portfolios. Together with corporate leaders, they proposed a corporate-wide auction, which is a big undertaking. We’ve teamed up with auctionpoint.com for the auction.”

The auction site offers the basic information about the virtual sale, but Colvin added that local parties who want to learn more about the auction or some of the properties can contact him or De Maagd at 893-1398.

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