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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Nothing 'absolute' about bank building auction

  • Auction's ultimate outcome wasn't determined by high bids
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  • John Kennedy Sr. said he doesn’t know exactly how he ended up in the process of purchasing the former Bank of America building, and none of the principals involved are willing to talk about it on the record. Kennedy would only confirm he ended up with the building after bidding on the property during a live auction held Thursday, Dec. 12. The auction ended with Cliff Chang’s high bid of $350,000. The second high bidder, who asked not to be identified, said he had envisioned the building as a place where children could spend quality time. He said he withdrew his offer after learning at the auction that the community had plans for the building. A group of community members had been raising money with the goal of transforming the building into a performing arts center. About $200,000 had been raised for that purpose, said Roger Emerson, who previously wrote letters in hopes that Bank of America would donate the building to that effort. When asked how he became the winning bidder on Monday, Kennedy said, “You know as much as me.” He said he has been advised not to discuss the terms of the sale. His current plan is to move Sportsmen’s Den to the 5,096 square foot building at 100 Chestnut Street. Auctioneer Jeb Howell from Auction Management Corporation conducted the auction in front of a crowd of about 30 people. The entire process lasted about 20 minutes. Though the auction was conducted in public, the sale is now private and no details regarding the sale price or the process by which the sale ended are being released. Several parties, including Berryvale, Inc. (via broker Brett Waite), Chang (via broker Roger Johnson), Kennedy and an internet bidder participated. Mount Shasta Mayor Tim Stearns said checks which had been donated to a bank account set up at Scott Valley Bank in order to create a performing arts venue have been returned to the donors. Emerson emphasized that the “outpouring of goodwill for a performing arts space in Mount Shasta demonstrates that this is a priority amongst a caring segment of our population.” To that end, several who were part of that group will reconvene after the holidays and develop a sustainable business plan, Emerson said. “I would like to thank everyone involved for their donations of time, energy and resources.” The six-sided building, completed in the late 1960s, has been vacant since Bank of America closed its doors in June. A short video segment from the auction can been seen at: www.mtshastanews.com.

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