FORT PIERCE— A Fort Pierce resident and business owner was the high bidder Thursday for four coterminous lots on the northwest corner of Delaware Avenue and 18th Street.
The buyer, who did not want to be identified by name, agreed to pay $275,000, including the customary 10 percent buyer’s premium, for the four lots that total about 1.8 acres.,
He also must pay $55,000 by March 19 to prevent the county from selling the properties for back taxes, said Stuart-based auctioneer Elliot Paul, who conducted the auction.
The back taxes had been due by Jan. 22, which would have required the buyer to close the purchase within five days of the auction and pay the taxes to prevent the county from auctioning the property in a tax sale.
Paul said the date of the tax deed sale was moved back to March 19, so the buyer has the usual 30 days to close the property sale.
The buyer’s attorney, Rudy Blanco of Miami Lakes, said his client likes the location.
“It’s a very good intersection,” Blanco said. “Fort Pierce is growing. The whole pier area on the east side is going to grow, too.”
Blanco said the buyer has not decided what he will do with the property.
“He will take a while to think about it,” Blanco said, adding that the buyer wants to develop the site and “the whole gamut” is under consideration.
The auction was completed much more quickly than expected. Typically, Paul will auction each of the lots individually and then offer the package to any bidder willing to pay at least the total of the four high bids.
“We took a poll before the auction, and everybody wanted to buy it all,” Paul said.
The largest of the lots, one acre at the corner of 17th Street, has a 7,700-square-foot building built in 1977 that was the Guadalajara restaurant and nightclub until it closed recently.
The two lots immediately to the west along Delaware each have a three-unit apartment building. The larger of those two lots is one-third acre and also has a garage. The fourth lot, one-third acre also zoned residential, is vacant.
All six apartments are fully rented, generating about $3,000 per month in income. Leasing the restaurant building could double that, Paul said.
The sellers, Miguel and Bertha Rico, bought the restaurant lot for $350,000 in April 2000, and purchased the other lots since then, but have gone into bankruptcy.