Wednesday, May 26, 2010

State trust land sold at auction for $2 million

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic May. 26, 2010 12:00 AM

Amid some confusion, the head of a Seattle-based firm was the winning bidder Tuesday for 4.7 acres of state trust land in Scottsdale.

Perry Koon bought the parcel northeast of Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard for the minimum bid of $2.15 million or $451,681 per acre. His company is Koon-Boen Inc.

Koon could not be reached for comment on his plans for the commercial site he acquired from the Arizona State Land Department.

A second bidder, BYPG Holdings LLC, represented by broker George Haugen, thought it had signaled the only bid during the two-minute auction. But auctioneer Dana Brown recognized Koon's bid first with the No. 4 paddle.

Haugen and an associate, seated three rows ahead of Koon, apparently thought Brown had recognized their bid with the No. 1 paddle.

Brown called out three times that No. 4 had the bid at $2.15 million before banging the gavel to end the auction.

Just before the bidding closed, Scottsdale broker Jim Keeley asked for a clarification that the No. 4 bidder had the high bid.

Haugen's group did not realize they had missed their chance to bid until the auction closed and they got up to pay a $285,200 deposit for the land.

Haugen declined comment when asked about the bidding confusion.

BYPG Holdings includes the L.L. and P.A. Van Tuyl Revocable Trust.

State Land Commissioner Maria Baier, who witnessed the bidding, said the proper auction procedure was carried out with the bidders identified by number.

She also noted that developers are showing renewed interest in state trust lands.

Builders largely backed off buying or leasing state land the past two years because of the recession.

"I'm deadly serious when I say that in the last 30 days we've had a few large buyers in to see us," Baier said. "To me that says more about the potential economic recovery than all the economic forecasts."

It appears builders are ready to build up their land inventory again, she said.

State trust land sold at auction for $2 million

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