Oasis condo auction in Fort Myers flops

Developer cancels sale before all 125 units sold

Article Courtesy of The News-Press

By Dick Hogan

Published November 22, 2010


Jack Eggspuehler of Cape Coral was at an auction Saturday to bid on units at downtown Fort Myers twin high-rise condo Oasis but missed his moment as prices fell before staging a modest comeback.


“The guy sitting next to me got the low,” which went for $147,500 before prices returned to the low $150,000s for the last 12, he said.


Jorge Perez, CEO of developer The Related Group of Florida, abruptly canceled the sale of 85 units as bidding neared an end on the first 40.


The prices bid were apparently far less than Related officials had expected, said real estate brokers who attended the auction at Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers.


Originally, Related had said 125 units would be auctioned: 40 absolute (highest bid takes it) and the rest with reserves, or minimum prices the bidders would have to meet.
But Perez pulled the plug after the first 40.


For Related the auction was a “disaster,” said Steve Luta, a Fort Myers-based real estate broker who attended the auction.


As prices plunged, he said, “I saw stability at the end but I never saw any type of bounce.”


The prices were substantially less than Related had been willing to accept even the day before, said Nils Richter of Market America Realty & Investment Group, who successfully bid on units for three out-of-town customers.


One of his clients paid $30,000 less at auction than what the price was the day before, Richter said. “I think the developer didn’t hit his price.”


The first condo on the block, a penthouse unit, went for $260,000 but the last 23 sold for less than $160,000. All were three-bedroom condos in the Oasis 1 tower.

Marc Cusumano and Anne Ferguson sign up for their bidding number with the help of Cinthya Sanchez, right, during The Related Group’s auction of 40 units at the Oasis Condominium on Saturday at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers.


Roger Vergln, 73, of Seattle, said he was delighted at the low price he paid.


“It’s a beautiful project,” said Vergin, who with his wife, Rosemary, had the winning bid of $200,000, plus the 10 percent auctioneer’s fee, for a unit on the 22nd floor. They’ll live there part time, mainly in the winter because the climate’s better for Roger Vergin to train for senior track and field events.