Real Estate

Uptown Auction Closes; Investors Still Interested

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Two days after the online auction closed with no bids for the lonog-vacant Uptown Theater in the Uptown area, Patrick Burgan, broker and co-owner of Burgan Real Estate, said potential buyers are still interested in the property.

“While the online auction ended, Burgan is continuing to work with several interested investors who are not only interested in purchasing the historic landmark of Youngstown, but being a part of the revitalization of the uptown area,” Burgan said.

Burgan declined to say how many investors had contacted the agency, but said they wanted to discuss the property personally rather than bid online. Based on unique impressions and revisits to BurganAuctions.com – the website of Burgan’s new auctions side of the business – there were some 5,000 people watching the bid during the online auction, he said. Online bidding began at 9 a.m. Dec. 1 and closed at 6 p.m. Dec. 12.

Registrations on the website were better than expected, as were views for the property, according to Burgan. With the exposure and attention the property received through BurganAuctions.com, “We are confident it will lead us to a final sale of this historic place,” he said.

“If the interest is any indication, we are very optimistic that the Uptown Theater will be sold,” he said.

Selling a property like Uptown Theater has its challenges, he acknowledged, including overcoming the perception of the property’s location and understanding that it will require additional resources to renovate the property so it is viable for business. The property includes two one-bedroom apartments upstairs and an attached bar and eatery.

Uptown opened in November 1926 and closed as a movie theater in the late 1980s. It hasn’t been used since the early 1990s when it operated as a live performance theater. Over the years, the theater was billed as “Youngtown’s Luxury Theater” and hosted plays, musicals and movie screenings and served as the home of Easy Street Productions.

As initiatives like the Smart2 infrastructure-improvement project and the riverfront park and amphitheater downtown take shape, investment in the Uptown Theater will help extend that revitalization to the South Side, Burgan said.

“For anyone who gets this, it will go to someone who is truly interested in revitalizing the area of the uptown and continuing what has started in downtown Youngstown,” Burgan said. “We like to say things are ‘Better with Burgan,’ and we’re just trying to play our role in making downtown better for everybody.”

The Uptown auction is one of the first the company conducted since forming Burgan Auctions. It recently sold a commercial property in Masury, just outside of Brookfield Township, for $625,000, Burgan said.

Burgan Auctions handles commercial and residential properties, said Sue Filipovich, broker and co-owner, and conducts online and at live auctions.

“We had a need to be able to be more full-service and offer that to our clients who are looking for an auction versus selling their home,” Filipovich said. “We just want to be able to have as many options as possible for sellers and buyers.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.