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Land up for public auction receives no bids

By Katie Demeria

WOODSTOCK -- Three parcels of land in Woodstock were put up for public auction Tuesday, without getting any bites from bidders.

The land lies on Kingree Street within the town's North Business Park, between North Main Street and North Water Street. Bill Shmidheiser, attorney with Lenhart and Pettit in Harrisonburg, acted as trustee for the properties.

Shmidheiser offered each parcel separately, then together as one, but none in the small crowd that gathered on Kingree Street made a bid.

One of the three parcels lies adjacent to Shenandoah County's government center. Shmidheiser said he was surprised no one from the county decided to bid on the 4.753 acres.

"If you look at their property -- they're using every inch of it," Shmidheiser said of the county's government complex. "Just to protect their future, Shenandoah County should buy that adjoining lot."

Shmidheiser added that the price may have played a factor in the county's decision not to bid. The owning bank's starting bid was $180,000.

A Daily article published in June detailed a Shenandoah County Board of Supervisor's meeting during which the board decided not to purchase the property.

"There's no place for them to go on their lot," Shmidheiser said. "Now, maybe they don't think they're going to need to go anywhere, but if I were the county I would buy the adjoining tract just to control it."

The largest lot put up for auction was 2.697 acres that touches both North Main and North Water Streets, with a starting bid of $210,000. The smallest parcel, at 0.56 acres, had a starting bid of $110,000. It sits next to the 2-acre parcel, alongside Kingree Street.

All three parcels were offered together at $500,000.

The land, according to Shmidheiser, was originally owned by Allen and Carolyn Kingree before they filed for bankruptcy over a year ago.

Shmidheiser said when the Kingrees originally purchased the property, they were able to successfully subdivide it and sell it to businesses, turning it into the Woodstock North Business Park.

"And then this terrible recession came along," Shmidheiser said. "The problem was, they had debt against these lots that were just dead debts. There is no income generated to pay their interest payments, and unless you can sell lots and get the debts paid down, you're just stuck."

The Kingrees also own the Stoney Creek Roller Rink and Fun Center, Shmidheiser added, which they have been able to continue operating.

"They just weren't able to sell any more property," Shmidheiser said of the North Business Park property. "They had done a heroic job to try and keep payments up to creditors, but eventually they just weren't able to. They're really nice people, Mr. and Mrs. Kingree."

Those interested in learning more about the property can contact Shmidheiser at wes@lplaw.com.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com

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