A pair of office buildings on Sherwood Forest Boulevard will be sold at auction later this month.
The 12,500-square-foot building at 4875 Sherwood Forest will be sold in an absolute auction on March 11, meaning it goes to the highest bidder regardless of price. An 8,200-square-foot building next door at 4917 Sherwood Forest is being sold at a confirmation auction, meaning the owner can reject the winning bid if it isn’t high enough. Elliot Paul, who runs the Florida company putting on the auction, said the larger building is owned by GELA Partners, the former owners of G&E Engineering, which used to be the sole tenant. The building has been on the market for several years, and vacant for about a year.
Paul said the former owners of G&E have moved on and are selling their real estate holdings. They decided holding an auction would be the best way to bring out buyers, he said.
The second building was built to house G&E employees. Part of the first floor is occupied, but the rest is vacant.
Paul said he’s targeting three markets with the auction: medical companies, office tenants and investors.
“The conventional wisdom is the businesses that go into these buildings would probably be in the medical area because of the proximity to Woman’s Hospital,” he said. Medical labs or drug testing businesses could be tenants.
Another potential use could be as professional office space such as another engineering company. There’s a demand for office space in Baton Rouge.
Both buildings could easily be subdivided to accommodate multiple tenants, Paul said, making them ideal for investors.
The auction will be held at noon at the building site. Bids will be accepted by phone and by proxies. Paul said he doesn’t know if online bids will be accepted.
“This sort of thing brings out the buyers,” he said.
Bidders must bring a cashier’s check for $50,000 or a bank letter of credit. The winning bidder will have to make an additional deposit that’s 10 percent of the highest bid on the day of sale. Within 30 days after the auction, the buyer will have to pay off the winning bid and a 10 percent buyer’s premium with cash.
Karl Landreneau, director of commercial sales and leasing for NAI/Latter & Blum in Baton Rouge, said the auction business has started to permeate commercial real estate sales.
“It’s another way to dispose of buildings,” he said. “I’ve seen quite a few office buildings auctioned off, but not in this area. They’re more on the East Coast.”
Landreneau said the commercial real estate auctions he’s familiar with are “complicated and sophisticated,” with pretty strict rules requiring qualified bidders. “It’s not like selling stuff at a sheriff’s sale,” he said.