Cape Girardeau federal building auction to close Jan. 10

Thursday, December 29, 2011
The former federal courthouse building is situated at 339 Broadway in Cape Girardeau. The federal government announced a closing date for the second auction for the building Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2011. (Fred Lynch)

With only one bid in the hopper, the online auction to sell Cape Girardeau's former federal building is set to end Jan. 10, according to the government agency that is making its second attempt to sell the Broadway facility.

General Services Administration spokesman Charlie Cook announced the end date Wednesday and officials have said previously the date's revelation will hopefully trigger a flurry of bids after three bidders backed away during the first failed auction.

The website reflected the closing, showing how many days and hours remain until it's shut down.

The auction, which began Nov. 9, has attracted one bid of $25,000, which is well below the $750,000 that the government is hoping to get for the building that has been vacant for more than two years. But that bidder did go public this week, identifying himself as David J. Alarid, owner of Williamson County Investments in Austin, Texas.

The company deals largely with buying government properties, renovating them and then reselling them, Alarid said in an interview with the Southeast Missourian. He said he's not seriously interested in buying the property but did offer $25,000 to gauge the interest of others.

He said he isn't likely to bid more than $100,000.

"I fix it up and find a tenant," Alarid said. "My first goal would be to lease it, but I wouldn't be opposed to selling it to the city or the county."

Until now, the Cape Girardeau County Commission has been the only publicly interested party. Commissioners have said they are interested in at least looking at using the building for certain county offices until a new consolidated courthouse could be built in Jackson.

The GSA does not reveal bidders' identities and wouldn't confirm that Alarid is the bidder that is reflected online.

"This is both to protect the integrity of the sale and the privacy of the bidder," Cook said.

The previous attempt to sell the two-story, 47,867-square-foot structure that was built in 1967 drew four bidders, but the top three backed away from their offers. The top two offers of $625,000 and $615,000 even forfeited their $25,000 deposits.

That is a concern for Alarid, who said he contacted the GSA to find out if there were problems with the building. Alarid also paid a $25,000 deposit. But he said the GSA told him the former bidders backed out for no reason and that they figured the bidders were overextended financially as they had bid on other GSA properties as well.

Alarid said that if he were to get the building, he would make all the modifications required by a serious tenant and try to sign as long-term a lease as possible.


Pertinent address:

339 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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