Online Land Auction Unique

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The federal government will open bidding on 3,700 acres in Orange County, Calif., this fall, and the real estate community will pay close attention.

July 01, 2003

 

Called Heritage Fields, the 3,700-acre former Marine base will include 3,400 residential units, 3.1 million square feet of industrial R&D, office and retail development, 45 holes of golf and a 7,800-student university campus. The centerpiece will be a 700-acre "Great Park" designed to serve the entire region.

The federal government will open bidding on 3,700 acres in Orange County, Calif., this fall, and the real estate community will pay close attention. A multiday online auction format will let anyone with an Internet connection follow the competition among some of the industry's largest builders and developers. The action should be fierce.

Set to be annexed by the upscale community of Irvine, which has entitlements to build hundreds of commercial and residential units, the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station site could net the richest per-acre disposition of a former military base to date. The record of $1 million per acre of buildable land was set recently when 400 acres of nearby Tustin Marine Helicopter Station hit the market late last year in a similar process.

Parties to that auction characterized it as particularly fair because bids were accepted over a period of weeks with no set end date. As soon as bidding slowed and then halted for several days, the General Services Administration gave three days' notice of a closing date and time that could be extended in 24-hour increments if higher bids ensued.

"In addition to making it much easier for national and international bidders to participate," says Jim Vereeke, a GSA senior contract administrator, "the online process allows prospective buyers the opportunity to review the highest bid and discuss their next moves in detail." For more information, go to www.heritagefields.com.

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