Just got back from the frozen front steps of the Pomona Superior Courts building, and I can report that there were NO TAKERS for the One Carter and Stonehouse properties. Not one single bid was placed. Before the bidding (or lack thereof) began, the auctioneer read off a near endless series of numbers denoting the financially interested parties flypapered to these two forlorn properties. Then he looked up, smiled, and said, "Be very careful on this one."
The initial combined asking price of $51 Million had apparently been cut just before the bidding by the representatives of Land America Default Services in attendance, with the minimum starting bid for today being Stonehouse at $7 million, $19 million for One Carter. Prices far less than what was originally paid for these properties.
After failing at auction, the two properties were apparently returned to the banks currently holding the bag. Who knows, maybe some of that $700 billion in our tax money the Feds have been using to bail out banks will be used to clean up this mess? The excesses of earlier this decade have even come home to roost here in Sierra Madre.
The auction took place outside the front doors of the Courthouse, and between the cold and the rumble of trucks going by, it was quite a hardy experience. Over 400 properties were being considered today, the vast majority being bankruptcies and foreclosures. A true sign of our troubled times.