Newmark Grubb Knight Frank: Auction format the right choice for prime land in Ohio

An aerial view of the land up for auction by Newmark Knight Frank Grubb in Ohio.

Real estate auctions aren’t just for distressed commercial properties that aren’t attracting attention from buyers in the open market.

Commercial real estate auctions are effective tools at moving properties on the other end of the spectrum, too, highly desirable properties certain to bring plenty of buyers.

Just ask Benton Benalcazar, a senior managing director with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. He and auctioneer Barry Baker, founder of Ohio Real Estate Auctions of Columbus, are conducting an online sealed-bid auction of 3.4 acres of land that will become part of a mixed-use commercial district being developed in Grandview Heights, Ohio, a community located just outside downtown Columbus.

This property is far from unwanted. It sits in the heart of an expanding commercial area in a densely populated and affluent section of central Ohio. It’s also located directly adjacent to Grandview Yard, a 100-acre $600-million mixed-use project.

And because the land up for auction now features Grandview Commerce District zoning, developers can build residential, hotel, medical, retail and restaurant developments on it.

“Auctions work well for the extemes in commercial real estate,” Benalcazar said. “This land is on the positive extreme. “This land is located in a very desirable area. The auction format is well-suited to this land.”

Benalcazar said that several interested parties are ready to make bids on the land. These parties want to be part of the Grandview Yard project, or at least want their future developments to be located near it.

The land is located within 15 minutes of more than 800,000 households with an average income of $57,000.

“We’ve had interest from every property sector you can think of,” Benalcazar said. “Hospital systems, medical practices, restauranteurs, retailers, you name it. About the only thing that doesn’t make sense here is warehousing. But for the other sectors, this is an important piece of property. There just aren’t many large empty parcels of land available here.”

— Dan Rafter

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