A former mill building on Saco Island that now houses loft apartments and a brew pub is going up for auction as an investment property in December.

The auction for 100 Main St., Building 3, in Saco, is scheduled to commence at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 12, according to Portland-based real estate auctioneer Tranzon LLC. Several high-profile commercial buildings in the Portland area have been sold at auction in recent years, including Portland’s iconic Time & Temperature Building at 477 Congress St. in October 2018.

The former mill building up for auction in Saco is four stories tall and was built in 1835, according to property records. It houses The Lofts, a 22-unit apartment complex, and The Run of the Mill Public House & Brewery, a large restaurant and brew pub. There is additional, vacant space that could be converted into offices, Tranzon said.

The building is being sold as an investment and is not expected to experience any occupancy changes as a result of the sale.

The property is owned by The ROTM Lofts LLC, which purchased it in December 2017 for $1.6 million, property records show. Its current assessed value for tax purposes is $2.2 million. It had been sold previously in 2007, at the height of the last real estate boom, for $4.8 million.

Auctions are often thought of as the means of last resort to sell a property, but one local real estate expert said they can be used to generate a higher sale price when demand for real estate is high.

“If you’ve got a heated market where there’s more buyers than sellers, it’s a great way to generate the best price,” said Greg Boulos, senior partner at Portland real estate brokerage The Boulos Co., which is not involved in the auction.

Boulos said pitting buyers against each other in an open auction can drive up the sale price and is a good way for investors who wish to sell a property to turn it over relatively quickly.

Another notable commercial property, the nine-story Ocean Gateway Plaza at 511 Congress St. in Portland, is being sold this month through Portland brokerage Cardente Real Estate via a sealed bid offering, which Boulos said differs slightly from an auction but can offer similar benefits to the seller in a hot market.

In a sealed bid offering, prospective buyers each submit a private bid on the property rather than accepting or negotiating a specific sale price established by the seller. By allowing the market to dictate the price, sellers may get more for a property via a sealed bid offering than if they established a fixed price, Boulos said.

“In an up market like we have here, if you put a price of X number of dollars on it, you may feel that you’re selling it for lower than you could otherwise get,” he said.


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