No bidders at auction



There were two real estate agents, two reporters, a few onlookers and some cold cuts at an auction in Angels Camp yesterday.

But there were no bidders.

The plan was simple: Put the Veterans Memorial Building on Main Street up for auction, sell it for a cool million, then donate $100,000 toward a $3.6 million community sports complex.

However, no one showed up to make owner John Tichenor an offer.

"It takes a while to get the word out on what a property is worth," he said yesterday.

Tichenor plans to leave the property on the market. It is listed by Vintage Realty at $1 million.

"If it sells, we will make the contribution," said Tichenor, who runs the travel company World Heritage Group on the building's second floor. "But at this point, I will presume we will basically stay in business as we have for the last 15 years."

The auction, which was held at the veterans building, was designed to raise money for the planned Bret Harte High School sports complex. Tichenor pledged to donate 10 percent if he received a minimum bid of $1 million, and 50 percent of any money above and beyond the million.

If the building, which once housed the Angels Camp City Hall, does not sell by the end of the year, Tichenor said he will reevaluate the situation.

Constructed in 1967, the two-story building has 5,300 square feet of office space. It was purchased by Tichenor in 1991 and is home to several tenants, including the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce and See's Candies.

An investment group has made inquiries into the building but was not available to attend the auction, said Nancy Whittle, one of the Realtors handling the auction.

The sports complex is planned for 18 acres across Murphys Grade Road from Bret Harte High. It would include a competition-sized swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, baseball and softball diamonds and a soccer field.

The Union Democrat
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