Vermont Business Magazine Maltz Auctions, of Central Islip, NY, has announced that the campus of Poultney's Green Mountain College will be auctioned off on August 18, at the campus of the defunct college. A press release from the company states that "a well-qualified, interested party" has placed a stalking-horse bid of $3 million for the property.
Wikipedia defines a stalking-horse bid as "a bid for a bankrupt firm or its assets that is arranged in advance of an auction to act as an effective reserve bid."
On that basis, the auction will proceed "with $3.2m being the next bid increment accepted," in the words of Keith Lowey of Foxborough, MA-based Verdolino & Lowey, the college's chief restructuring officer, as quoted in the release. “In 2016 the property was appraised at $20m."
“This quintessential New England campus had been the home of Green Mountain College, a private 4-year liberal arts school focused on environmental, social, and economic sustainability, which unfortunately closed at the end of 2019,” the release quoted Lowey, apparently referring to the end of the academic year in May of 2019, when the final commencement was held.
Since that time the college has been seeking a buyer through Colliers International Real Estate, and now via bids.
The release describes the property as having 155 acres, including a working farm.
However, the town of Poultney's property map data list refers only to a core campus of 114.37 acres and four nearby residential properties totaling 1.21 acres.
The college also owns two isolated undeveloped parcels, totaling 5.6 acres, across the Poultney River, the state border, in New York, according to Washington County (NY) records.
According to VBM's sources, the farm has not been active since the college closed, and the lanes leading into the farm are cordoned off, although the hayfield has been cut.
"There are also favorable financing options available for qualified buyers," the release notes.
It is uncertain whether offers higher than the $3 million bid reported have come in since July 8, the date of the release, which does note that the property is "subject to sale prior to auction as pre-auction offers will be considered."
Maltz Auctions CEO Richard Maltz said, “We are pleased there was great interest in this property as it represents an exceptionally rare opportunity to acquire an environmentally sustainable, green campus that is superbly located and beautifully maintained in a single transaction. The party who placed the $3m stalking horse bid understands that there is incredible reuse or redevelopment potential – and great value.”