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Real estate to be sold for fraction of price

Two buildings that are part of an Ohio city's history will be put up for auction at the end of February. The owners of the Akron real estate properties that previously housed the Ohio Brewing Co. and Schermesser Funeral Home want to sell the assets quickly. The auction has no minimum bid, and whoever submits the highest bid takes the property.

The suggested starting bid for the funeral home is $27,500, and the owners could not previously sell it. The Ohio Brewing Co. moved into the now-vacant downtown Akron space in 2008 but closed after about a year there despite spending about $3 million to change an old department store into a restaurant. The property has stood empty since then. The starting bid of $75,000 is listed to attract buyers, while it was previously on the market for $950,000. Summit County has valued the building at about $1 million for tax purposes. The property is being sold so quickly because it is part of a bankruptcy and the trustees want to close the case. As part of the sale, no late property taxes will be assessed.

The renovations of the building along with the location, space and equipment make the downtown property an ideal spot for another restaurant. Furnishings will also be auctioned off during the sale. A representative for a law firm occupying space in the building reported the firm was not planning on bidding on the property, but hopes whoever moves in will want to improve the area.

Commercial auctions can be an attractive way for a business owner to acquire real estate. An attorney with a background in business and commercial law may be able to help negotiate and prepare the required purchase documents.

Source: Akron Beacon Online Journal, "Main Street properties on the auction block in Akron", Katie Byard, January 29, 2014

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