Diocese’s first property auction three weeks away

Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, August 22, 2015

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent

GALLUP — With the Diocese of Gallup’s first auction of real property just three weeks away, a marketing campaign has been launched to sell about 118 parcels of unwanted church-owned land in Arizona and New Mexico.

The first auction is scheduled for Sept. 12, at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix. That auction will include 18 parcels of land the Gallup Diocese owns in northern Arizona.

The second auction will be held Sept. 19, at the Airport Sheraton in Albuquerque. The New Mexico auction will feature 100 parcels of land in nine New Mexico counties, including 64 residential parcels outside of Grants, near San Rafael.

Both auctions will open at 11 a.m., with the actual auction taking place at noon, according to Todd Good, the CEO and president of Accelerated Marketing Group. Good’s company has partnered with Tucson Realty & Trust Company to advertise and conduct the auctions. The companies held a similar auction for the Diocese of Tucson during its bankruptcy.

All church-owned properties will be sold to the highest bidder and the auction prices will not be subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Good said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

“They sell for whatever they sell for,” he said.

Tucson experience

The Phoenix auction will also include Arizona property that does not belong to the Diocese of Gallup. Good said organizers selected Phoenix and Albuquerque as “central hubs” for the auctions because the properties are located across both states. In New Mexico, the church-owned properties are “literally from the Colorado border to the Mexican border,” he explained.

While some of the parcels owned by the diocese are located within communities or are easy to reach in a vehicle, Good said about one-third of the parcels are in remote locations or are landlocked. Of the six parcels in Gallup, four are located on steep, rocky hillsides and three are landlocked.

Good was asked if buyers at the Diocese of Tucson auction bought the property because they really wanted the parcels of land or whether they bought the property to help out the diocese.

“We have purchasers on both side of the fence,” Good said, adding he expected the same will be true for the Diocese of Gallup’s auctions.

Good said he thought buyers interested in helping the diocese might be able to donate the property back to the church and get a charitable tax write-off, but he said such individuals should first seek out the advice of an accountant or attorney.

Assessed values

According to the assessed values listed for the parcels being auctioned, the Gallup Diocese is not selling its most valuable property. In Arizona, the parcel with the highest listed value is vacant land in Springerville, located near Maricopa and Alta Vista drives. Its actual value is listed at $92,825.

In New Mexico, the property with the highest listed value is the downtown Gallup property on the corner of Aztec Avenue and Fourth Street that is currently being used by the city of Gallup as a parking lot. Its actual value is listed as $119,280.

In contrast, the Arizona property to be auctioned that does not belong to the Gallup Diocese has generally much higher value. Two of the non-church owned properties have values of at least $1 million, and one southern Arizona property valued at $750,000 is located next to Beatle Paul McCartney’s Tucson ranch.

Anyone interested in learning more about the auctions, the terms of sale or the property to be sold should call the toll free number operated by Accelerated Marketing Group. The company will email an information packet. Information provided by the marketing company can then be compared with information from the local county assessor’s office and local real estate brokers in the county where property is located.

Auction information: 800-791-0913

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