The Georgetown Sells for $200K at Auction

BOARDMAN, Ohio — The live auction for The Georgetown banquet and event center was brief as the auctioneer pushed for every bit of upward momentum to reach the final sale price of $200,200.

Bidding started at $100,000 and increased incrementally. After the first bid was called, Russell Kiko, auctioneer and real estate agent for Kiko Auctioneers, pushed for $125,000 and $150,000.

The next bid he got was $110,000.

“Ah, you stinker,” Kiko quipped.

The auction ended at the high bid of $182,000. With the 10% buyer’s premium added to the highest bid, the final sale price of the building is $200,200. Before the coronavirus pandemic was a factor, “double of that wouldn’t have been out of line at all,” Kiko said.

The winning bid was placed by Michael Mercure, who acted on behalf of a buyers group. Mercure owns America’s Wholesale Outlet, located in the Mathews Square Plaza with The Georgetown.

Mercure, who says he is friends with the Primavera family, said it was the “rich history” of the Georgetown that drew the buyers’ attention.

“I think there’s future plans to maybe keep it going as a catering hall,” he said.

Six bidders attended the auction at the 15,570-square-foot building at 5945 South Ave., and another 11 online. Bidding for the online-only equipment auction began Thursday afternoon and ends July 22 at 6 p.m.

The morning of the auction, Kiko said the tax appraisal for the building was more than $700,000. Reports on the Mahoning County Auditor website do not list the sale price when Georgetown Inc. purchased the building from Mathews Square LLC in 2001, but Kiko estimates the company paid about $800,000.

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Given the size of the building in that plaza and location, owning the Georgetown presents an opportunity with “possibilities beyond belief, he said.

“It’s a great time to own real estate,” he said. “It’s almost prohibitive to build today. Costs a lot of money.”

In February, The Georgetown’s owner, Mark Primavera, announced the banquet center was closing after 45 years in business. The announcement came following a foreclosure complaint involving the Mahoning County Treasurer, the former Home Savings Bank (now Premier Bank) and the Ohio Department of Taxation that adds up to nearly $200,000 in mortgage and tax debts.

Reports from the Mahoning County Auditor’s office showed the banquet center had delinquent taxes of $65,577.75, along with its annual tax of $20,613.97. The last tax payment was made in May 2017.

Russell Kiko conducted the auction of The Georgetown

Prior to bidding, Kiko announced taxes will be prorated and will be brought up to date at closing. “You will be paying no back taxes [and] will be buying it free and clear,” he said.

The target closing date for the buyer is Sept. 1, Kiko said.

With the coronavirus pandemic taking its toll on banquet centers and creating some fear about the economy, Kiko didn’t know what to expect for Thursday’s auction.

“The banquet facilities right now are all kind of in limbo,” he said. “Most of them aren’t doing much of anything. Small weddings and small parties.

“And I don’t know that we’ve seen the total effects yet until it shakes out another year,” he continued. “Most people I talk to are pretty optimistic about what’s going on in the future.”

Auction companies, however, have been busy, he noted.

“Equipment’s been selling pretty good and most real estate’s been doing pretty well,” he said.

Brothers Rich and Gene Primavera, who is Mark’s father, started The Georgetown New Year’s Eve 1975. It has operated at the South Avenue location since 2001.

Since that time, “a lot of the growth was south of here,” Kiko said, but adding “there’s nothing wrong with the location.

“The rest of the plaza I think is doing pretty well,” he said. “It’s in the eyes of the beholder. If the right guy gets ahold of it, it will do well.”

Pictured at top: The Georgetown closed in February after 45 years in business. It sold at auction on July 16.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.