By Wesley Edwards
Murry Wise Associates of Champaign Ill. auctioned off 3,228 acres of the Eastern Shore. The property belonged to East Coast Packers which declared bankruptcy earlier this year. Thirty one properties across both counties were first bid off as separate parcels. Then bidders were then allowed to bundle any two or more of the thirty one parcels and the bidding process started again. On the first round of single parcel bids a grand total of $7.6 million dollars was bid. Fourteen different bundles of parcels were created in the bundling process lasting more than four hours.
In the final process only eight bidders were successful from approximately 200 attendees at the Moose lodge in Belle Haven. Many of the bidders were on the phone with companies and or individuals not actually in the room. The high bid for what was called bundle L making up 20 of the 31 properties brought $11.9 million dollars. Bundle L was made up of approximately 2,532 acres plus several labor camps, sorting houses, and homes. The lowest successful bid was $21,000 dollars making the range of the eight successful bidders $21,000 dollars ---- $11.9 Million dollars. Many bidders were closed out of the process as the fourteen bundles were put together.
In the end thirty-one parcels brought a grand total of $13.8 million dollars.
Although the identities of the winning bidders were not disclosed it is believed that much of the property was purchased by vegetable suppliers and that at least some of the facilities may reopen at some future date.
The properties will not change hands until a bankruptcy court in Florida approves the sale.
Several residences owned by the company in locations that ranged from Marsh Island near Chincoteague to Cape Charles were auctioned off Monday.