WEST OCEAN CITY – The Sunset Marina potentially extended its property line on Tuesday after representatives outbid the competition in a public foreclosure auction for the building that last housed the Miyako Sushi and Seafood Buffet.
A bidder representing John Gudelsky, owner of the Sunset Marina and OC Fishing Center, won the building with a bid of $1,040,000 during a half-hour on-site auction handled by national brokers Tranzon Fox.
Bidding for the building started at $1.5 million, but quickly dipped as low as $700,000 before the first bid was placed a few minutes in. About 20 potential buyers watched as auctioneer Suzie Stegmaier tried to peddle the almost 8,000-square-foot building and property, featuring 18 EDUs, for several minutes without any takers.
Though several folks put in bids, the main players in the auction were the representatives of the Sunset Marina and Edgewater developer and restaurant proprietor Harvey Blonder of HB Properties.
In a “fear of loss” move, auctioneers “took a call” 20 minutes into the auction as the price lagged at $830,000 and announced, “the property must be sold today. This is a sale not a hold up.” Quickly, the price spiked and the last few minutes was a bidding battle between Blonder and those representing Gudelsky.
The building has been vacant since the previous owners were forced to shut down after they were raided by U.S. Immigration officials last October. Bo Hao Zhu, 33, and his wife Siu Ping Cheng, 30, both of Ocean City, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this past July for hiring and harboring illegal aliens at their two West Ocean City restaurants, the other being the Panda China Buffet in the White Marlin Mall).
In addition to their $50,000 fine for harboring illegal immigrants and their 18-month probation, they were forced to forfeit their interests on the Miyako Steakhouse property, which they purchased from the Ocean City Marlin Club in 2004 for $2.3 million.
The property was valued before the auction at over $2 million, and David Lowry of Tranzon Fox, said that “the $1.5 million starting price was after an assessment of what was a fair value in today’s market place.”
Those representing the Sunset Marina had no comment on future plans for the site, but Blonder said, “the site is going to probably need a few million dollars in rehab.”
Blonder said that the building becoming property of the marina owners seems like a “natural thing” and said he bowed out of the bidding as he planned on going no higher than $1 million.