Large Land Auction Will Evolve into Individual Negotiations

NAA Auctioneer Tom Jordan held the largest non-farm auction land sale in the history of New Bern, N.C., over the weekend. The 272-acre residential retail project was appraised at $10 million prior to the auction.

Marla Webb has been in real estate and land auction sales for more than three decades and has learned there are varying results.

She said 60 percent produce day of auction sales, 20 percent bring advance bidding and another 20 percent end with sales after the auction.

Saturday’s auction on the 272-acre Lake Tyler subdivision on Washington Post Road and other commercial properties was touted as the largest non-farm auction land sale in the history of New Bern.

Webb, who is the director of business development said there was not enough competitive bidding at a Saturday morning auction, attended by more than 50 people at the subdivision site.

Webb said earlier in the week that the subdivision, with 400 single family lots, plus five tracts of commercial land, was appraised at about $10 million. There was a reserve bid price total of about $4 million going into the auction.

The auction, which was conducted by Raleigh auctioneer Tom Jordan, was designed to gather competing bids on selected few single-family lots, then various tracts, with multiple lots and parcels.

At the end of the auction, the plan was to ask for a high bidder to purchase all the property.

The early-morning auction only attracted eight card-carrying bidders.

Webb said they all expressed interest in various parts of the sale and individual negotiations would begin on Monday.

She said there were also two interested parties looking at purchasing the entire package, but that they did not send representatives to the Saturday auction.

“It is a fully developed subdivision,” Webb said. “The streets, the underground utilities are in, with a 60-acre fully stocked lake, these are all in place. Millions of dollars was done. There is a $1 million (sewer) lift station and it has all city sewer and water. It is on the very edge of the city of New Bern.”

The subdivision was started in about 2003 and ready for building in late 2007, when the economic bubble burst.

It was developed by Gene Dunn Construction of New Bern.

“His family has been doing business and developing properties around New Bern for two generations,” Webb said.

Webb had marketed the auction extensively, sending color brochures to builders, developers and land investors from Washington, D.C., to Charleston, S.C., and west beyond Charlotte.