NORTH ADAMS -- A total of 31 city-owned properties will be put on the auction block on Wednesday Aug. 21.
The parcels have been taken by the city over the years as part of tax-foreclosure proceedings and have remained vacant for a number of years.
"The last time the city did this was two years ago and we made about $100,000 in one night," Assessor Ross Vivori said Thursday, noting that most of the land is non-conforming in size and cannot be built on unless it is joined with an abutting property. "The majority of these properties will be of most interest to the abutters. The lots are small and most will want them to add to their own properties to put a shed or a garage on. We're sure many of them will draw an interest from the public, but there will also be a few that no one may be interested in."
Collar City Auctions, Realty and Management Inc., an auction house out of Albany, N.Y., will host the auction at City Hall. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. with bidding expected to get under way at 7 p.m. Opening bids for a majority of the properties will start at $500, while bids for properties considered to be "land locked" will start at $300.
Winning bidders will be able to walk away from the auction with "free and clear" land titles.
"We have an attorney that is making sure all of the properties are clean and clear of any demolition liens, tax liens and back taxes," Vivori said.
Successful bidders will be responsible for paying a 10 percent down payment and a 10 percent buyer's premium or $350 flat fee (which ever is higher) on the night of the auction. Additional fees due at the time of closing include: An $850 legal fee, a $125 recording fee and "pro-forma taxes" -- a fiscal 2014 property tax based on the sale price on the night of the auction.
Any property selling for $1,000 or less will need to be paid in full at the time of the auction, while any property sell for more than $1,000 must be paid in full by Sept. 23.
Brochures featuring maps and pictures of the individual properties, along with assessed values and annual taxes, are available at City Hall and are available online through the city's website, www.northadams-ma.gov and at www.collarcityauctions.com.
Properties included in the auction include parcels on or along Barlow, Bracewell, Harding, Massachusetts and Richmond avenues; Church, Cliff, East Main, Fairview, Forest, Houghton, Leonard, Meadow, Montgomery, North Holden, Rand, Reed, Rock, Russell, Walnut, West Main and Yale streets; and Brook Terrace, the Mohawk Trail and State Road.
A total of 16 properties were withdrawn prior to the auction because the city could not provide "free and clear" titles at this time.
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email