6B — August 19 - September 15, 2022 — Central New Jersey — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


C entral NJ

Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. accelerates repurposing unique properties trend Unique and hard to value properties are best sold at auction

J ust like the high-end art market, where one-of-a-kind paintings are sold to the

technology and generational trends. Office parks, retail centers, and former indus- trial plants are all now viewed through the lens of “repurpos- ing” them to more needed uses. Even society’s concept of where to live has been fundamentally altered, largely due to the pan- demic and the subsequent em- bracement of working remotely. These former uses are now per- ceived as “unique properties.” Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Company’s Auction Program has facilitated this trend of repurposing unique properties in assets ranging

from former schools, deep water marinas, convents, churches, municipal buildings, industrial plants, and even a morgue. Many of these buyers have a common theme in that they are “out-of-the-box” thinkers. En- trepreneurs and end user busi- nesses want to stand out and come up with creative uses for well-located properties, which are now functionally obsolete and no longer needed by their current owners. As a case in point, the 1.8 million s/f Budd Factory in Philadelphia sat vacant and abandoned for over 20 years.

developer, the Plymouth Group from NYC. The competitive bid process through auction provided multiple benefits for both the buyer and seller. For the buyer, it offered “price dis- covery” in that they were com- peting against other developers and reflected the collective sense of what the property was worth. Their ultimate purchase price was validated in that they knew the market had reflected its collective sense of what the property was worth. For the seller, the pre-determined auction terms, including “as is-where is,” eliminated pro- tracted negotiations and con- tingencies which are typically the bane of selling these types of properties. The property has since been converted into Budd BioWorks, a Life Science Hub and has given life and economic vibrance to this once struggling part of the city. Other recent examples in- clude the former Laurelton School in Brick Twp. NJ, which sold at auction to a buyer planning to convert the brick building into a Medical Care Complex. In Phoenixville, PA, a former Armory converted into a civic center was sold for the Borough and will be converted into an eight-unit residential property. In Florida, they are converting vacant mall space into indoor Pickle Ball Courts. Next month Max Spann is sell- ing over 100 properties for Mu- nicipalities in the Mid-Atlantic states including a warehouse in the middle of the Atlantic City, a 53,000 s/f school on eight acres, a church and some can- nabis approved building lots. As an Auctioneer for Bank of America, Sun National, and dozens of other financial insti- tutions, Max Spann has sold a multitude of bank branches that have been converted into creative uses. In Glenside, PA, a branch was converted into a high-end Italian restaurant utilizing the bank’s vault as a wine cellar. The former bank branches are typically located in high traffic locations, built with brick, and have ample parking, making them excellent locations for financial advisors, specialty store, or even apartments. As the market evolves and office and retail sites become less required, adaptive reuses of real estate is needed to bring these properties back to life. Auctions are a proven vehicle of choice in the buying and selling of such unique assets. MAREJ

The location, just outside of center city and in the middle of a residential area, made rede- velopment issues complicated due to the understandable sensitivities of the adjoining residential neighborhoods. A former section of the property has been converted to a shop- ping mall and another into a satellite Temple University facility, but the remaining sec- tions sat empty for years. The Max Spann Auction Company marketing campaign attracted bidders from across the nation and ultimately secured a suc- cessful sale to an innovative

highest bidder, unique real estate is best sold at auc- tion. Unique real estate, such as farms and trophy homes, which are inherently unique have long been sold at auction.

Robert Dann Exec. VP & COO

The commercial real estate market has been experiencing seismic changes brought on by

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