Brooklyn estate auction produces mixed results

More than 200 persons crowded into a courtroom in State Supreme Court, Brooklyn, for Tuesday’s auction.

With a total of $9,304,000 in winning bids, Tuesday’s estate auction by King’s County Public Administrator Bruce L. Stein produced mixed results.

Many properties enjoyed spirited bidding, topping the minimum amounts substantially, while others went begging.

Excluding the single-family house that was withdrawn at the outset, minimum bids totaled $13,582,000. The proceeds consisted of just 69 percent of that sum.

Six of the houses and co-ops on the block received no bids (26 percent), three went down at the minimum and one, an apartment at 1130 Brighton Beach Ave., went for twice the upset price.

The costliest property up for sale, 436-438 Albee Square, failed to lure any bidders the second time around.  It was offered for $3.6 million, a $400,000 reduction from the minimum in December’s auction.

The most activity centered on 174 Lincoln Place, which attracted 38 bids in $25,000 increments (as opposed to the painfully low $5,000 increments to which auctioneer Richard Freeman clung for lesser-valued properties).  The winners were two investors who declined to be identified or photographed.

Charlie with his wife Janka, winning bidder of the multi-family building at 155 Berry St., for $1.030 million.

Another property for which participants competed strongly was 155 Berry St., a mixed-use building that sold for $605,000 more than its $695,000 minimum.  The winner was a man who would give me his name only as Charlie.  He told me that he planned to renovate and rent out the property.

Below are the properties at the auction and their minimum bids followed by the winning amounts:

  • 930 E. 49th St., $300,000/no bid
  • 436-438 Albee Sq., $3,600,000/no bid
  • 69 Sterling St., $499,000/$499,000
  • 582 Bainbridge St., $290,000/$300,000
  • 308 E. 2nd St., $490,000/$490,000
  • 2060 Ralph Ave., $395,000/$430,000
  • 155 Berry St., $695,000/$1.030 million
  • 1409 Albemarle Road, $400,000/no bid
  • 163A Halsey St., $325,000/$400,000
  • 2633 Hubbard St., $300,000/$300,000
  • 1130 Brighton Beach Ave., $65,000/$130,000
  • 40 Brighton 1st Road, $150,000/$150,000
  • 463 Rutland Road, $215,000/$215,000
  • 64A Jewel St., $595,000/no bid
  • 174 Lincoln Pl., $1,750,000/$2.675 million
  • 1347 E. 85th St., $290,000/no bid
  • 9707 4th Ave., $180,000/nobid
  • 4628 Beach 46th St., $320,000/$425,000
  • 119 Gelston Ave., $270,000/$350,000
  • 1322 E. 34th St., $415,000/withdrawn
  • 28 Paedergat 7th St., $499,000/no bid
  • 331A Stuyvesant Ave., $315,000/$350,000
  • 61 71st St., $615,000/$675,000
  • 151 Prospect Ave., $250,000/$350,000
  • 1616-1618 Union St., $399,000/$490,000
  • 4517 Farragut Road, $250,000/$310,000
  • 414 Elmwood Ave., $125,000/$135,000

Although the event was only 69 percent successful by the numbers — much better if the $3.6 million outlier at Albee Square is ignored — the level of interest seemed considerably higher than I witnessed at the previous King’s County auction, which was lackluster.  At the same time, though this one fell short of the minimum, I was reminded of the recent Queens County sale that exceeded its minimum, if barely.

I have a sense that individuals buying either for themselves or for investment are back — at least in the auction market.

In case you were wondering, the public administrator’s primary duty, according to the Web site, “is to administer estates that would otherwise remain unadministered; to protect the decedent’s property from waste, loss, or theft; to make appropriate burial arrangements when no close relative is available to make the decisions; to conduct thorough investigations to discover all assets; to liquidate assets at public sale or distribute assets to heirs; to pay the decedent’s bills and taxes; and to locate persons entitled to inherit from the estate and ensure that the legal distributees receive their inheritance.”

The office handles an estate when no one else is available to deal with it, whenever there are no known heirs and when the executor or administrator of an estate becomes ill, dies, is convicted of a felony, or otherwise is disqualified from serving while administering an estate and no one else is available.

Ironically, I dropped down in one of the few empty seats when I arrived.  It happened to be next to the purchasers of the most expensive property to be sold, and that’s exactly what occurred at the last Brooklyn auction I attended.

Word to the wise: Be sure to sit next to me.

Tomorrow: Alexander Graham Bell’s invention beats e-mail for successful negotiations

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
Web site


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