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On Auction Day, Rowan Lofts Successfully Moves 63 Units

By Samantha Page
Published: Monday, February 09, 2009, at 09:15AM
Rowan Auction Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Bidders at the Rowan Lofts auction consider units in front of one of the large screens showing auction status.

Sixty-three units in the new Rowan Lofts building on Spring sold at auction in three and a half hours on Sunday afternoon.

A one-bath studio went for $207,000, the lowest price. On the other end of the spectrum, the two-bed, two-bath penthouse sold for $534,000.

The starting prices ($195,000 - $490,000) were far below previous market rates, as the developers tried to unload enough units to satisfy lenders and avoid turning the building into rentals.

Developer Goodwin Gaw called the Historic Core "the meatpacking district of LA," a once-seedy area of Manhattan that has become a chic residential and nightlife neighborhood.

Downtown Properties' Bill Stevenson was disappointed all the units didn't sell, but pleased with a successful auction. "We are thrilled that we sold 62 units in one day in this climate," he said.

The auction offered all units simultaneously, allowing buyers to tailor their bids to the overall sales, rather than approaching the units piecemeal.

The auction technology, called Intellimarket, has only been in use since 1995. The Rowan sale was the largest number of units sold at one time using the system.

"The technology was flawless," Stevenson said. He's also a co-founder with Intelligent Market Systems, the company that developed Intellimarket. "We're very happy with it, and the buyers were very happy with it."

Now, buyers will fill out paperwork and enter into escrow. Developers are hoping to have begin closing on units as of March 1.

As for the rest of the building, Rowan will begin marketing the remaining units next week.

Update (Tuesday): Representatives from the building have corrected the number of units sold to 63. We originally reported 62 units.

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