by David Flint
The former Bank of America bank building in Berlin will go on the auction block on May 22 at 11 am. According to Norman Zimmer, Director of Operations at Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Company, there will be no minimum bid. It’s an Absolute Auction, and the property will be sold regardless of price. The price starts at whatever the floor opens at, Zimmer said.
[private]Interested potential buyers can register and have a Property Information Package sent to them. They can also check out the building and all the specifics at property preview open house sessions that are scheduled to be held at the bank building on May 8 and May 15 from noon to 2 pm.
The auction on May 22 will be held on site at the bank building, but webcast bidding is also available. You can register at MaxSpan.com and get set up to bid online at the time of the auction along with the bidders who are actually on site.
The property at 21 Elm Street is listed as a two-story brick sided bank building with a footprint of 2,960 square feet. It was built in 1970 on a .98 acre parcel. There are 29 parking spaces in the parking lot. It was the Taconic Valley Bank when it was built. In a series of acquisitions and mergers it later became Fleet Bank, then Norstar Bank and in 2005 the Bank of America.
After the Bank of America closed the branch in December the property was listed with Ikon Realty Group LLC in Albany, but according to a source in that company, the intent was always to sell it at auction. Max Spann lists a number of benefits to the seller in selling at auction. The seller determines when and under what conditions they want their property sold and can have it sold in as little as 60 to 90 days. And auctions allow sellers to sell their property “as is, where is” with no contingencies thus “eliminating prolonged and sometimes aggravating negotiations that often end up fruitless…
Buyers compete with each other, not the seller. Through their competition the optimal market values are attained.”
Berlin Town Supervisor Rob Jaeger had hoped that Berlin could attract another bank to take over the property, preferably a New York commercial bank that holds its own mortgages. He put out feelers but found it disheartening that there was absolutely no interest from any quarter. He said that the First Niagara Bank wanted 25 million dollars in deposits to consider taking on a new branch in Berlin. Pioneer Bank was also not interested. They haven’t opened a new branch in four years and were not about to do so in the current economic environment. “I did everything I can do,” Jaeger said. “We will now see what develops from the sale.”