Seaboard auction set for June generates more than 100 bidders for downtown buildings

By Nora Naughton

STAMFORD — There has been a high early demand for eight of Seaboard Realty’s area properties up for auction next month, according to the bankrupt developer.

Marc Beilinson, Seaboard’s chief restructuring officer, said the buildings — which include the downtown Courtyard Marriott on Summer Street — have already generated more than 100 bidders seeking to purchase some or all of the eight properties at the June 20 auction. The deadline for bids is June 15.

The agency filed for bankruptcy in December, the same month its president, John DiMenna resigned after two Seaboard owners questioned the company’s finances under his leadership.

Beilinson said the auction process is “designed to maximize the value” of each of Seaboard’s properties. The properties up for auction include thearriott hotel, two apartment buildings and three office spaces.

Thomas Madden, Stamford’s director of economic development, said the city will benefit from Seaboard’s auction.

“We’re going to be able to move forward with some stalled projects and complete the mosaic of downtown,” he said. “Our only preference moving forward is that the right owners get their hands on these properties, whether it be all at once or one by one.”

Sandy Goldstein, president of the Downtown Special Services district, said she is pleased the process is moving forward.

“I’m happy to see that some of these properties might be sold to major players in Stamford who will have the best interest of the city in mind,” she said. “Once this is over, I’d like to see more movement around all of these properties.”

Harold Bordwin, of Keen-Summit Capital Partners, which is handling the auction in conjunction with FTI Consulting and Savills Studley, said there is no reserved price on any of the properties.

However, to be a qualified bidder, offers need to start at the debt owed on each property.

Jim Fagan, lead broker at Cushman & Wakefield real estate agency, said the early demand for the properties will aid in the final sale prices.

“These are very good properties,” he said. “I expect they will garner more than just the bank’s debt on each property.”

Fagan said the auction process is a slightly unusual method of unloading a bundle of properties.

“The auction process is an interesting way to do it,” he said.

“It’s not the best way to achieve maximum pricing, but it does offer the most transparency, which is important in bankruptcy proceedings.”

Tenants of Park Square West on lower Summer Street and 100 Prospect St., or those occupying office space in 300 Main St., 1 Atlantic St. and 88-122 Hamilton Ave. should not face negative effects from the auction, Fagan said.

“If anything, those tenants are helping create the value on these properties,” Fagan said. “This is a good thing for them, because once there’s a new owner, they finally have a landlord to talk to again.”

Seaboard’s Courtyard Marriott in downtown Stamford is included in the properties up for auction, but the unfinished Residence Inn Marriott across the street will be left off the list until Seaboard can finish construction.

Beilinson said Seaboard is working with IDB Bank, the financing agent on the Residence Inn, to arrange the funding to complete construction before it goes up for auction.

“We’re very close to an agreement on that,” he said.

When the funding is finalized, it will take up to 10 months for the hotel to be completed.

Link to article on Stamford Advocate