Auction.com Plans Busy Summer

Auction.com will hold a custom auction in July worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Manhattan Towers

Manhattan Towers, the office complex to be part of the custom auction.

Auction.com will hold a $300 million custom auction in July featuring a $100 million office complex and three multi-family properties, all part of the site’s plan to bring more than $2 billion in real estate assets to sale at auctions over the next two months.

The custom auction is a two-step process, typically conducted on higher-priced properties, that allows interested bidders to qualify first for a “short-list” by submitting a sealed indicative offer before the live auction. The indicative offers on the Manhattan Towers office complex in Manhattan Beach, Calif., and multi-family communities in Reno, Orlando, and Phoenix, are due tomorrow.

“July’s custom auction is the latest example of how the market is accepting Auction.com as a reliable partner for moving high-quality, traditional CRE properties,” Rick Sharga, Auction.com’s executive vice president, said in a news release. “Almost 50 percent of the properties we bring to auction today are non-distressed, desirable assets. It’s gratifying to see building owners and forward-thinking CRE brokers recognize that we can help them move their best properties more quickly, efficiently and profitably by leveraging Internet technology.”

Auction.com has been conducting custom auctions since June 2013, according to Gordon Smith, general manager, commercial real estate division.

“Since then, we have continued to facilitate them as the market and specific circumstances dictate,” Smith told Commercial Property Executive.

The custom auctions are single-property/portfolio events for high-value properties. Once the short list is selected, qualified buyers are given about four weeks to perform due diligence before the online auction begins.

“Custom auctions offer an attractive sales tool for the market and give sellers additional options to work with,” Smith said.

The company notes that they benefit both seller and buyer and save bidders time and money as they move forward in the process.

Smith said the decision to use a custom auction rather than just the traditional listing and online auction is made by the seller, broker and Auction.com customer representative. Smith said they all “assess the situation as a team and determine the best strategy for achieving a successful sale.”

The custom auction set for July 22 will feature Manhattan Towers, a 309,734-square-foot complex on about 5 acres with two six-story office buildings and two levels of below-ground parking. Located at 1230 and 1240 Rosecrans Ave. in Manhattan Beach, the complex was built in 1985 and is LEED Gold certified. Currently 47 percent leased, the property is being touted as a value-add leasing opportunity in a strong office submarket that has one of the lowest office vacancies in the greater Los Angeles area at 3.1 percent.  The starting bid has not been set, but a $100,000 bid deposit is required.

A 722-unit multi-family portfolio in Reno, near the location of the recently announced Tesla battery “Gigafactory,” will be included in the custom auction on July 23. The properties are the Village at Iron Blossom, a 404-unit garden-style complex at 695 East Patriot Blvd., and Vizcaya Hilltop Apartments, a 318-unit garden-style community at 1350 Grand Summit Drive. The two assets have a combined occupancy of 96 percent.

Two other multi-family assets will be part of the custom auction. They are Victoria Place Apartments, a 364-unit apartment community in Orlando that is 97 percent occupied, and Monte Verde Apartments, a 435-unit complex in Phoenix with 95 percent occupancy. Finalists for Victoria Place Apartments will compete in the custom auction July 22 and finalists for Monte Verde Apartments will compete the following day.

Founded in 2007, the Irvine, Calif.-based company has sold over $30 billion in residential and commercial real estate assets. To date, the largest property sale was a portfolio of age-restricted multi-family properties in Las Vegas that closed for $74.5 million in January, 2014, according to Smith. If Manhattan Towers exceeds that amount, it would be the largest property sale on the platform. Smith said the largest transaction so far is a portfolio of performing multi-family notes that went for $540 million in late 2013.

Earlier this month, the company announced that Tim Morse, a former Yahoo, Inc. executive, was named CEO. Jeff Frieden, co-founder former CEO, remains with Auction.com as its executive chairman. The firm also said it had partnered with Situs to deliver due diligence to Auction.com clients for properties on the platform.