What If They Gave An Auction And Nobody Came.....Except For The Snacks???
That was the story out in Glen Ellen this last weekend when the Chauvet Hotel Luxury Condos went on the block.
We'd been curious as to how that whole auction business was going to play out. There had been so many plans for the Chauvet property, they all seemed to come and go. I was actually surprised that the condo project got as far as it did. A Bad Sign of course was the idea that the prices had been slashed!, slashed! , slashed! ,Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!
Prices were cut down at least 30% prior to the failed sale. It was starting to sound like a monster truck rally, only with granite counter tops and plasma screen TVs and free food.
As the Sonoma IT put it:
There was a crowd of at least 50 people on hand to eat hors d'oeuvres and sip iced tea, but not a single bidder claimed a reserved auction seat and no one came forth to publicly offer the minimum $820,000 for the cheap- est of six three-bedroom apartments in the historic Glen Ellen hostel.
Hors d'oeuvers and iced tea huh???? For what they wanted for those condos I would have expected a whole lot more food, Crystal and a lapdance....at least. Of course some people did turn up. Who wouldn't turn up to watch a trainwreck in slow motion especially if there was grub!! I'm only sorry we had houseguests last weekend, on second thought I should have taken them down there for breakfast, and a show.
Still, the Chauvet partnership remained optimistic the auction would produce some buyers. San Francisco architect and general partner Larry Paul said in March he would be "shocked" if the Chauvet units didn't sell at auction for the minimum bid prices, that ranged from $820,000 to $895,000.
Paul said then the partnership had invested more than $4.5 million in the project, that "carrying costs have just killed us," but that he fully expected the units to sell. The auction itself, which was advertised worldwide, was an unusual venue for selling luxury real estate. Paul compared it to selling fine art or vintage automobiles. "Nobody has any idea what these things are worth," he said in March, partly because there are no comparable properties nearby to price them against.
Despite the lack of bidders on Saturday, general partner Christine Hansson, also of San Francisco, said she wasn't discouraged. "This was a shot at innovative marketing," she said on Monday. "We didn't come out emptyhanded. There were people there who were interested who didn't want their names in the paper, or the price they were willing to pay publicized. Several parties were extremely serious. We're not dead."
Nope, you're not dead...yet. Even a headless chicken can make it around the yard for a couple of laps before it drops.