Block bidding for lots
The Olney City Council is moving to allow developers to bid on multiple lots at once as a way to accelerate the building of much-needed homes and to move foreclosed lots off the city’s books quicker. The Council first explored the move at its Jan. 23 meeting, discussing how to instruct Texas Communities Group, the real estate clearinghouse that conducts online sales of the city’s foreclosed lots at its Texascg.com website, to put up a bundle of 10 lots for bid.
City officials took the action at the request of a potential buyer who is interested in building a variety of housing got pictures of him running down the alley …. The community’s surveillance has basically mapped this whole night.”
Mr. Kee could not be reached for comment.
Police urged residents to “say something if you see something” as soon as a suspected crime occurs, and to provide descriptions of suspicious people or vehicles to police. “Call the Olney Police Department as soon as you see it – don’t wait,” Officer Joe Logan said.
types as well as modest rent-to-own and rental properties, Mayor Pro Tem Tom Parker said.
“There’s a builder that’s come to town that would like to buy blocks of city lots for the purposes of building single-family homes and potentially some duplexes of mixed-use,” Mr. Parker said. “There will be some rental, some rent-to-own, and some outright purchase.
They were asking that rather than going through individual [bidding] and go through a protracted system, they present us with a list of the lots that they would like to proceed with initially and we put that down … taxing authorities. “I don’t know of any reason why you couldn’t sell them as a package. I just want to make sure there is not a requirement [to sell them for] fair market value that would be changed by the conglomeration of them, and it may not be an issue at all.”
The Council next met on Jan. 29 to map out the criteria necessary for a resolution to aggregate the chosen lots and put them up for bid while they await a legal opinion about the block bid and contact the other lienholders - the county and school district - for permission to sell the lots in a block. The Council set a second special- called meeting for Feb. 6 to discuss and consider a resolution that would bundle the 10 lots in question, Mayor Rue Rogers said.
Mr. Parker and Olney Police Detective Dustin Hudson, who oversees code enforcement, argued that block bidding would encourage developers who benefit from economies of scale by building several houses near each other and would get rid of less desirable lots.
“We have some lots that we’ve had for years that just will not move because of where they are located and the neighboring structures or whatever the reason is - no individual wants to buy them,” Det. Hudson told the Council. “But if you put them in a package … if you get one or two nicer lots … you buy the prize bull [and] you’ve got to take the steers with them.”