Boston Bank Foreclosures Auction of Office Building Suspended

by Simon Lindsay on cities

The Citizens Bank decided to suspend an auction on the office property placed on Boston bank foreclosures after no one top its bid of $1 million.

Some of the office building's tenants are the non-profit organizations, Union of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN) and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and the local real estate development company, Maple Hurst Builders.

Many tenants of the building were taken by surprise of the auction. According to Horace Small, director of UMN, the owners of the building said that the foreclosure sale would not happen.

One of the individuals in the partnership that acquired the property from the Boy Scouts of America is John Judge who was recently named as Springfield's chief development officer.

The auction which was held at the building's parking lot was attended by several qualified bidders who bring with them the required $30,000 certified deposit checks, some tenants and area residents.

The auction started with only two biddings. The opening bid was $400,000 and it ended at $600,000. Auctioneer Paul Saperstein suspended the bidding briefly to confer with Citizens Bank representatives. When it resumed, Citizens Bank lawyer Brian Plunkett made a bid of $1 million for the building.

Plunkett explained that the bid was just a way for the bank to express its interest on the property. He added that because there was no bid bigger than the one offered by Citizens Bank, it decided to postpone the auction.

Industry experts said that it is common in Boston bank foreclosures sale for the mortgage holders to place a bid to establish the base price for the auction. Some residents in the area are concerned that the new owners of the two-story building would replace it with high rise buildings.

According to the zoning map of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the foreclosed office building is zoned for housing use. The office building is also included in the Greenbelt Protection Overlay District (GPOD) due to its proximity to a public parkland.

Meanwhile, the auction was also attended by Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) board's vice chairman Jack Fay. In 1995, the JPA opposed the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center's attempt to lease the office building for the reason that it would bring parking and traffic problems in the area.

Some tenants of the building are considering the possibility of acquiring the property and establishing a cooperative.