Diocese Asks to Auction Properties

Gallup Independent
June 8, 2015

Attorneys for the Diocese of Gallup have asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma to approve a plan to auction off about 115 mostly vacant parcels of land in Arizona and New Mexico to help the diocese fund a plan of reorganization.

In a motion filed May 18, diocesan attorneys also asked Thuma to approve the hiring of Tucson Realty & Trust and Accelerated Marketing Group, a California firm, to conduct the auction as well as conduct a public marketing campaign to get the property sold within 90 days of the court order.

Susan G. Boswell, the lead bankruptcy attorney for the Gallup Diocese, retained those two companies to direct similar property sales in the Diocese of Tucson’s bankruptcy case in 2005. Statements submitted by both companies assert the firms have “extensive experience marketing difficult, rural properties” in the Southwest.

According to the diocese’s motion, properties to be auctioned are “for the most part, excess real property not otherwise currently utilized for Diocesan purposes. The Sale Assets consist mostly of unimproved, vacant land in rural areas.”

Any objections to the plan need to be filed with the court by June 11.

Six Gallup parcels

With a few possible exceptions, most of the properties do not appear to have a high dollar value.

Based on the list of proposed parcels to be auctioned, officials with the Diocese of Gallup are not parting with many of the diocese’s more valuable properties. The diocese’s commercial property in Winslow, Ariz., with the busy McDonald’s restaurant located on the lot, is not listed, neither is the G-Bar Ranch, also known at the Barth Ranch, located outside of St. Johns, Ariz., or Gallup’s Downtown Plaza shopping center on West Aztec Avenue.

Some of the properties are made up of just one parcel of land, while other properties include multiple parcels. The list includes 18 parcels scattered across Apache and Navajo counties in Arizona, and 98 parcels located in nine New Mexico counties, including 64 parcels outside of San Rafael, N.M., in La Vega Estates. Six parcels are located in Gallup.

If Thuma approves the diocese’s motion, diocesan officials will be able to add or delete properties from the list as the marketing and sale process proceeds.

Auction plans

Tucson Realty & Trust and Accelerated Marketing Group have agreed to be compensated $45,000 for the marketing costs related to the auction and a commission of 10 percent of the purchase price of each property that will be paid as a buyer’s premium. Any cooperating third party broker will be paid 2.5 percent from the broker’s fee. The sales will be on an all cash, no contingency basis.

The companies are planning to conduct an “open outcry” and “absolute and without reserve” auction for some of the properties. An “open outcry” auction is one with live bidding, and an “absolute and without reserve” auction means there is no reserve or minimum bid, with the property being sold to the highest bidder regardless of price. Some properties, however, may be sold with a reserve price set.

Other properties may be sold in a “sealed bid” program where sealed bids will be submitted and the Diocese of Gallup will recommend to the Court the bid to be accepted.

Marketing strategy

Tucson Realty & Trust and Accelerated Marketing Group plan to run a heavily marketed sales campaign for about six weeks prior to the auction that targets print, broadcast, consumer, business and trade news media organizations in Arizona and New Mexico.

The firms are also planning a direct and electronic mailing campaign of promotional information to developers, land improvement companies, environmental agencies, real estate brokerage companies, accountants and attorneys.

The $45,000 marketing fee will be the only cost to the Diocese of Gallup related to the sale of properties.

If Thuma approves the motion, diocesan attorneys stated the auction would likely be held approximately 60 to 90 days after the court approval. Proceeds from the sale will help fund the Gallup Diocese’s plan of reorganization, including payment of administrative expenses.

The next major event in the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case is a court ordered mediation June 10-11, which will involve the diocese and nine other parties.

Properties to be auctioned

Apache County, Ariz:

¦ Concho: three vacant parcels

¦ St. Johns: one vacant parcel

¦ Springerville: one vacant parcel

Navajo County, Ariz:

¦ Holbrook: four vacant parcels

¦ Show Low: three vacant parcels

¦ Snowflake: two vacant parcels

¦ Snowflake: one vacant parcel

¦ Winslow: three parcels used by Vincent de Paul Society’s Food Bank

Cibola County, N.M:

¦ Near San Rafael: La Vega Estates, 64 vacant parcels

¦ Near Bluewater: three vacant parcels

Luna County, N.M:

¦ Near Deming: nine vacant parcels

McKinley County, N.M:

¦ Gallup: six vacant parcels

¦ Thoreau: one vacant parcel

Rio Arriba County, N.M:

¦ Lumberton: vacant land

Sandoval County, N.M:

¦ Near Guadalupe: one vacant parcel

¦ Rio Rancho: three vacant parcels

San Juan County, N.M:

¦ Blanco: one vacant parcel

¦ Farmington: one vacant parcel and land used by Catholic Charities

¦ Near Navajo Dam: one vacant parcel

Socorro County, N.M:

¦ Near Belen: one vacant parcel

Taos County, N.M:

¦ Near Colorado border: two vacant parcels

Valencia County, N.M:

¦ Near Los Lunas: four vacant parcels








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