NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city unloaded some excess land on Wednesday night as bidders blew through some 50 lots in about 90 minutes.
People packed into the City Council Chambers to try for vacant lots large and small that had been taken by the city over the years for back taxes. Although many had once had houses on them, only a few now fell under the zoning requirements for new construction.
Quite a few parcels went to single bidders at the $500 starting price, more than a few found no takers and a handful sparked some spirited bidding wars.
Michael Nuvallie was battling a woman a few seats away from him for a plot on Galvin Road assessed at $32,600. Egged on by the auctioneer (who frequently urged "you came here to buy this, don't lose it now!") the price hit around $11,000 or $12,000.
That's when Richard Pellerin decided it was time to jump in — and the woman dropped out, shaking her head at the price. Pellerin and Nuvallie went toe-to-toe but Pellerin emerged victorious at $20,000 — one of the highest, if not the highest sale in the auction. Pellerin said his strategy was to bid later "to show I was serious."
Michael Nuvallie, second from left, was bidding against the woman in white for a Galvin Road plot until Richard Pellerin and John Sherman, in the photo at right, jumped in.
"That was the best lot in the auction," said Nuvallie. "That was still a building lot."
It was a building lot Pellerin didn't want anybody building on, he said. The parcel sits between his land and his neighbor, John Sherman, so they decided to partner and split the price and the lot down the middle.
"I don't want anymore neighbors," said Pellerin, as Sherman joked, "I'm close enough." Sherman needed more space to build a garage, to which Pellerin has no objection — there'll still be space between them.
Most of the bidders seemed to be abuttors looking to increase their yards. Jason Griffin and Julia Budway were eyeing a lot on Tremont Street that would significantly expand their property. But they walked away empty handed when someone else with more money in their pockets liked it, too.
The lots not sold will be rolled into the next round of tax takings, probably next year, said city Assessor Ross Vivori on Thursday. Collar City Auctions and Realty Management Inc. of Albany, N.Y., which ran the auction, was expected to have the final numbers of the sale by Tuesday.
"I think everyone who attended and got what they wanted, walked away happy," he said.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Looking for land? The city will auction off nearly 50 properties on Wednesday night, June 8, that were mostly taken by tax title over years.
The half-acre to 2 acre vacant lots (the buildings were condemned and demolished, sometimes years ago) will be sold with clear titles starting with bids at $500, or $300 for landlocked properties.
Collar City Auctions and Realty Management Inc. of Albany, N.Y., is handling the auction, which will take place at City Hall beginning at 7 p.m. Registration begins at 5:30.
The assessed values range from $100 to $46,000 with a number of lots adjoining each other. Last week, Mayor Richard Alcombright said he expected abuttors to buy most of the smaller lots to increase their yard sizes.
Winning bidders will have to pay a 10 percent auctioneer's fee and any taxes and title fees. Sales of $1,000 or less will have to be paid in full that night; all others must be paid by June 30.
The mayor has said he doesn't expect to make a lot off the sale but it will put the land back on tax rolls and relieve the city from having to maintain it. Any lots that do not sell will be put back up for auction again in the next round.
Properties that have been withdrawn from the auction because of legal or title issues are tracts 2, 10, 14, 15, 27, 44, 45, 47 and 62.
The auction is expected to be well attended based on the large number of people who came to an informational meeting on May 31.
:: Preliminary Election: Deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 7. (Office open from 8 to 8.)
:: General Election: Deadline to register is Tuesday, Oct. 18
Registration can be completed at the city clerk's office at City Hall.
Absentee ballots are now available at the city clerk's office for the Sept. 27 preliminary city election. Voters may come in between the hours of 8 and 4:30 weekdays. Written reguests for mailed ballots can be sent to City Clerk's Office, 10 Main St., North Adams, MA 01247. Deadline for absentee ballots is Monday, Sept. 26, at noon.
The preliminary election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27, to narrow the field of three mayoral candidates to two. The general election to select nine city councilors and a mayor will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8.