Franklin Equipment Co. fails to sell property at auction

Published 8:22 am Friday, June 18, 2010

FRANKLIN—The two local pieces of real estate from the former Franklin Equipment Co. did not sell at an auction last week.

Atlantic Asset & Management Group in Virginia Beach tried to sell the parcels during a three-day auction at Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center.

“We didn’t have an acceptable bidder, so we’re still working that sale,” said William Summs, president and chief executive officer for Atlantic Assets. “We’re hoping that we’ll have a confirmed acceptable bid this week.”

Summs declined to reveal the opening bid for the two parcels, a 34-acre site at 33551 Carver Road in Isle of Wight County and a 3.37-acre parcel at 217 E. Second Ave. in downtown Franklin. The Carver Road site also contains Franklin Equipment’s former 180,000-square-foot factory.

Before the auction, Summs said the trustee hoped to have an opening bid of around $1.5 million for the Carver Road parcel and factory, and $300,000 for the land on Second Avenue.

“It is what it is,” Summs said. “The auction brings up all kinds of interested buyers. If we can’t get it done on the auction block, we will continue to work the known buyers that came as a result of the auction. We will eventually negotiate a sale between the buyer and the seller – that’s our role.”

Franklin Equipment once had buildings on the Second Avenue site, but they were demolished after being damaged in the 1999 flood.

Summs said the other two pieces of real estate up for sale — a foundry in Independence, Ore., and a retail sales and service outlet in Louisburg, N.C. — were sold at the auction, as were hundreds of pieces of heavy machinery, furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Franklin Equipment was founded in the city in 1962 and manufactured diesel logging tractors, primarily for the timber harvesting industry. The company closed and filed for bankruptcy in January 2009.