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Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 5:05 AM
Johnny Ryall Johnny Ryall is offline
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River Tower condominiums sell out
By Wayne Risher

River Tower at South Bluff condominiums sold out in an auction that took another bite out of Downtown's surplus of unsold units. J.P. King Auction Co. of Gadsden, Ala., reported selling 15 units at prices ranging from $77,500 to $155,000 at The Peabody on Saturday. The 14-story, 153-unit River Tower at 655 Riverside Drive is the former Rivermark apartments and Holiday Inn-Rivermont. Houston-based McCord Development spent $17 million to renovate the property starting in 2006, but the recession hammered home sales before all the units could be sold. McCord, which used J.P. King to sell 20 units in June 2008, brought the auctioneer back Saturday to liquidate the remaining inventory. "I think we were overall pleased, and our partners were pleased," said Mike Maerz, director of investments for McCord. "Always you hope to achieve higher prices, but we were pleased with the prices we got in this market." Previous sales at River Tower ranged from $105,000 to $533,000. Maerz said an auction proved to be the right approach in today's buyer's market. "In the current market, there's a lot of skepticism and people have no sense of urgency and are not in a rush to make a decision. The auction is a call to action." J.P. King president and CEO Craig King said the auction drew 53 registered buyers from seven states and netted just under $1.7 million.

The auction came two months after King sold out The Nettleton condominiums in an old Piggly Wiggly warehouse at Front and Nettleton. The recent auctions will help reduce Downtown's considerable inventory of unsold condos actively on the market. The inventory was 96 units as of Sept. 30, according to figures compiled by development consultant Tony Bologna. However, the total excluded 129 condos taken off the market by leases or lease-purchase contracts, as well as 155 units at The Horizon, a foreclosure-stalled project at 717 Riverside. Center City Commission officials said there had been no official word from Capital One Bank on when construction on The Horizon might get going again. Between River Tower and The Nettleton, J.P. King auctioneers have sold 45 Downtown condo units since September. By comparison, 41 condo sales closed in the first nine months of 2009.

Last edited by Johnny Ryall; Aug 2, 2013 at 1:48 PM.
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