Auction stopped would-be bidders can't meet price

September 25, 1994|By William Thompson | William Thompson,Eastern Shore Bureau of The Sun

EARLEVILLE -- Homeless cats and dogs were the only real winners yesterday when a scheduled auction of one of the state's most expensive luxury homes was canceled abruptly.

Although about 60 curious spectators gathered at the 707-acre McGill Creek Farm of wealthy developer William J. Crocker to see who might buy the Eastern Shore estate, auctioneers announced that the property was being withdrawn because only three people had registered to bid.

During informal chats with the would-be bidders, auctioneers concluded that none apparently was willing to meet Mr. Crocker's undisclosed minimum price for the waterfront property, which recently was listed on the real estate market for more than $15 million.

Land agents will discuss strategies to sell the farm and its 30-room mansion, but the estate likely will go back on the open market this week, said J. Craig King, president of J. P. King Auction group of Gadsden, Ala.

Spectators paid $20 each to attend yesterday's event, which was catered and featured entertainment by a keyboard player. The proceeds and $200 raised in a mini-auction for a painting of a horse were given to Cecil County's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Mr. Crocker, 74, put the property up for sale because of poor health.

Mr. Crocker, whose family started in 1903 a successful %o development company that has built extensively in New York City and Florida, said he and his wife may stay in the house until Christmas.

Mr. Crocker said he was optimistic he could sell the farm because at least two potential buyers were unable to attend the auction or send surrogate bidders.

A5 The Crockers bought the undeveloped farm in 1986.

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