In just over two weeks, would-be real estate moguls will get a shot at 86 Kensington properties going up on the auction block -- half of which will be sold regardless of price.
Madison Hawk Auctioneers is conducting the auction of properties formerly belonging to infamous slumlord Bob Coyle (currently serving prison time for mortgage fraud) and now owned by Kenpor L.P., at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, May 1, at First District Plaza, at 3801 Market St.
But concerns persist among local elected officials that the homes won't get the renovations they badly need and may even be auctioned off to new slumlords who could let the properties further deteriorate.
“I am concerned to hear that these properties may now be offered up in an open auction, which would make it even harder for the city to ensure they are brought back up to code,” said City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez in a statement after Kenpor announced the auction plan in February.
Last week, a letter sent to Kenpor from Quinones-Sanchez' office expressed concerns with the auction process, stating for example that in an auction format, financial institutions interested in acquiring properties purely as an investment may be able to overpower smaller, local developers.
The letter also asked that bidders receive due diligence packets that explain city codes and an explanation of city code requirements for the upkeep of the properties.
According to Madison Hawk's website, all buyers will be required to put up at least $6,500 per property to commit to renovations on those properties, and must buy a due diligence packet of legal documents.
“Kenpor, L.P. and city officials share a mutual objective of putting these homes into the hands of property owners who will complete needed repairs and subsequently elevate the quality of housing stock throughout North Philadelphia’s Kensington and Port Richmond neighborhoods,” said Jeff Hubbard, president of Madison Hawk, in a statement announcing the auction.
“They agree the most efficient way to accomplish that goal is through an accelerated auction sale. We have collectively incorporated specific guidelines into the bidding process that will guarantee funds are utilized to quickly fulfill renovation requirements. We’re confident this carefully-crafted program will achieve the desired results all parties are looking for.”
Open houses of several of the Kenpor properties are being held on Wednesday, April 16 and Wednesday, April 23. Seminars for bidders will be held Thursday, April 17 and Thursday, April 24.
For more information, visit Madison Hawk's website.