Auction of two Harlem buildings nets $6 million

Auctioneer Chuck Schcieifer spots a biddder.

Auctioneer Chuck Scheifer swivels and spots a bidder in packed room.

In a highly successful auction Wednesday of two Manhattan buildings that the state has declared surplus, taxpayers benefited with winning bids totaling $5.97 million.

An estimated 300 individuals jammed into the auction room on the eighth floor of the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building on 125th Street to witness or participate in the sale.  There were 107 registered bidders, according to one official.

“Our goal is to get property on the tax rolls,” said the official, James P. Sproat, director of Real Estate Planning & Development in the Office of General Services.  “We’re satisfied that we’ve done the best for the taxpayers.”

Auctioneer Chuck Scheifer was less restrained: “I’m incredibly pleased and thrilled,” he allowed. “Fantastic.”

Immediately after successfully bidding on

Immediately after bidding successfully on 364 W. 119 St., the buyer (in blue shirt) and auctioneer converse.

First on the block was Continue reading

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Out and About: The allure of Hamilton Heights

View of a Hamilton Heights from top floor of nicely renovated townhouse offered for $2.695 million.

View of a Hamilton Heights from top floor of a nicely renovated 4,400-sf townhouse that is offered for $2.695 million.

For buyers accustomed to neighborhoods farther south, Hamilton Heights may represent challenges with respect to convenience, amenities and street life.

Yet on a recent tour of an even dozen open houses, I was struck anew with how vibrant the area is and how great is the value of properties in contrast to more popular parts of Manhattan.

As the New York Times has noted, the massive Columbia University development now rising to the south suggests that Hamilton Heights is on the verge of a boomlet:

. . . Hamilton Heights, largely unknown to those who have never cracked the 100s on the No. 1 train, is preparing for an influx of teachers, students and support workers. It is also anticipating the higher real estate prices that usually come with proximity to an Ivy League institution.

The Heights Continue reading

Auction set for vacation place with great security

Two houses in Manhattan also are available to bidders

If security is paramount, the happiness will be hard to contain of whoever is the winning bidder at the auction of a property in Northern Adirondack Park this summer.

On 27.3 acres in the hamlet of Lyon Mountain in Dannemora, the property includes several acres of undeveloped land and 23 buildings totaling 90,676 square feet.

New York State is selling the former minimum-security correctional facility as surplus property on July 10, and the minimum bid is a mere $140,000.

(If a second prison might prove to be of interest, the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on the southern tip of Staten Island is for sale as well, but not at auction.) Continue reading