Co-ops in Manhattan auction draw limp bidding

The impossibly ornate Surrogate's Courthouse, where the auction was held.

Public Administrator Ethel J. Griffin’s poorly attended estate auction of nine apartments Tuesday produced sales totaling only $2.374 million.

Five of the properties ranging in location from Chinatown to Washington Heights failed to attract even one bidder.  A co-op on West End Avenue in Lincoln Towers sold to a sole bidder for its minimum of $300,000.

There were just two bidders for a Sutton Place South co-op, which went from $950,000 to $1 million in $10,000 increments.

The only property that attracted anything remotely close to spirited bidding was the least expensive one, a $45,000 limited-income co-op for which there were nine bids until hammered down at $74,000.

I inspected that apartment on Saturday and was, unsurprisingly, astonished at its decrepitude and stench in a building with depressingly ugly lobby and hallways.

Continuing a familiar pattern for these auctions in New York County alone, the city achieved a mere 63.4 percent of the minimum bids (minus an Eldridge Street property that was previously withdrawn).

A similar auction in Queens last month garnered bids 40 percent higher than the total of the upset prices, while a Brooklyn event ended with just 69 percent of the combined minimum bids.

Below are the properties on the block along with their winning bids:

  • 45 Sutton Place So., #5E, estate of Marilyn Gilpin, 1,665 square feet, two bedrooms, two baths, $2,968 plus $175 assessment, minimum $950,000/$1 million;
  • 435 Convent Ave., #63, estate of Ruth Pugh, 1,366 square feet, two bedrooms, $1,084 maintenance plus $9o assessment, minimum bid $350,000/no bidders;
  • 251 Seaman Ave., #2J, estate of Simone Trudo, 747 square feet, $611 maintenance plus $129 assessment, minimum $220,000/no bidders;
  • 61 E. 86th St., #74, estate of Maria Leitner, 1,500 square feet, three bedrooms, $2,506 maintenance, minimum $950,000/$1 million;
  • 128-130 W. 138th St., #2C, estate of Helen O’Garro, 499 square feet, $385 maintenance, income limited, minimum $45,000/$74,000;
  •  140-142 West End Ave., #14W, estate of Gary Czekus, 581 square feet, studio, $924 maintenance plus $60 assessment, minimum $300,000/$300,000;
  • 134 Eldridge St., #5, estate of Earl A. Patnode, 576 square feet, $600 maintenance, income limited, minimum $200,000/withdrawn;
  • 550 Grand St., #H1C, estate of Mildred Keitelman, 948 square feet, two bedrooms, $949 maintenance, minimum bid $460,000/no bidders;
  • 30 Macombs Place, #1C, estate of Jessie Byrd, 528 square feet, $550 maintenance, income limited, minimum bid $50,000/no bidders;
  • 570 Grand Street, #H1004, estate of Ethel Mack, 714 square feet, one bedroom, $650 maintenance, minimum bid $450,000/no bidders.

Properties that go unsold are put on the block one more time and then go to a real estate broker in the event there is no successful bidder.

Tomorrow: My Con Ed bill gives me a charge

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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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