Greystone units set for auction 20 at complex go on block Oct. 25

September 27, 1992|By Ellen James Martin | Ellen James Martin,Staff Writer

The owners of Greystone, an Ellicott City landmark that was converted into a luxury residential project, have announced that 20 of the project's condominiums and newly constructed town houses will be auctioned on Oct. 25.

"We're very passionate about this property," said Tom Whittingslow, a marketing consultant for The Brightwater Group, auctioneer and real estate investment firm based in San Francisco.

Brightwater is the fifth owner of the Greystone property in five years, Mr. Whittingslow noted. The last owner was Patapsco Valley Associates, based in Baltimore.

Minimum bids for the Greystone units will be about 65 percent below previous asking prices by Patapsco, Mr. Whittingslow said of the auction.

The castle-like, neo-Gothic Greystone structure was purchased by Brightwater in mid-September for $2.7 million, said Frederich L. Harris, the firm's president.

In addition, the current owner spent $700,000 to complete the interior of the Greystone project. Among other things, Brightwater finished fireplaces, carpeting and bathrooms, as well installing Jacuzzi tubs in each of the condo units.

Mr. Harris said "years of restoration and millions of dollars in renovations" had gone into Greystone prior to the ownership of Brightwater. He said Brightwater specializes in handling unusual difficult-to-market properties, including some that have historic interest.

really a gorgeous place," Mr. Whittingslow said of the 67-year-old Greystone property, which was purchased by Brightwater after the previous owner defaulted on a loan backing the project and went into foreclosure. The lender involved was Second National Bank of Annapolis.

Michael Badger, Maryland real estate broker for the Brightwater Group, provided several examples of auction pricing:

* A two-bedroom condominium will be offered for a minimum sales price of $70,000. Its previous price was $179,000.

* A sprawling penthouse with 180-degree views, previously pricedat $325,000, will be offered for a minimum bid of $140,000.

Still, Mr. Whittingslow, allowed, "I don't believe that listing prices mean anything in today's real estate market.

"Some people are sitting on properties they may have overvalued on the expectation that the prices will be negotiated down. An auction is the true value of real estate."

The Brightwater Group has opened an auction information office at the Greystone property, 3700 College Avenue, in Ellicott City.

For information or registration, prospective bidders should call (410) 313-8646.

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