David Bunker

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April 18, 2006
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Auction ends with bid of $5.65 million on Forest Service land

TRUCKEE - Bidding has stopped on 82 acres of U.S. Forest Service land northwest of here, but it is too early to tell whether the land will be awarded to the highest bidder, officials said.

The Forest Service has to determine whether the bidding, which ended at $5.65 million, reached the minimum amount the agency had set before the auction began in late January of this year.

The federal agency will also do another assessment on the property to see if the offer matched market value for the property.

"We got to (the bidders') threshold a little faster than we thought," said Rick Maddalena, land use officer with the Truckee Ranger District.

If the property goes into escrow, the top bidder's identity will be revealed, Maddalena said.

Individuals or companies making offers on the parcel are identified with short code names on the Web site that tracks the auction.

Local developer East West Partners, which had entered bids when the property was going for less than $1 million, has dropped out of competition for the land, said East West's Managing Partner Roger Lessman.

Tom Grossman, one of the owners of Truckee real estate company GLA Morris, said he kept track of the bidding until it rose greater than $2.5 million.

There is no infrastructure abutting the land, said Grossman, and the prospective developer will have to bring in utilities from a significant distance.

Town zoning on the parcel allows for 41 lots to be built.

The homesites would be required to be clustered, according to town guidelines and 15 percent of parcels offered as affordable housing.

Potential buyers from Chicago, Las Vegas, San Diego and the Bay Area came to take a look at the property last fall, before snow blanketed the parcel.

The Truckee Ranger District is selling the property to raise money to develop a new center on 72 acres sandwiched between Glenshire Drive and Interstate 80. The land may be developed jointly with the town, which hopes to move its truck, snowplow and maintenance yard to the parcel.

The old facilities on Indian Jack Road were outdated and too small to house the Forest Service fire equipment, federal officials said.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Apr 18, 2006 10:43PM Published Apr 18, 2006 12:00AM Copyright 2006 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.