YUMA, AZ - An eager crowd came out to the Kress Building auction on the Yuma County Courthouse steps Thursday.
"On behalf of the beneficiary, AEA has authorized the opening bid of $2,700,000. So the call is made for any additional bids," called out Deann Ayala, an auctioneer with Trustee Services of Arizona.
Several members from AEA showed up, including CEO Tom Martin. Former Kress Manager MARK Ruiz and other former Kress employees attended too.
"$2,700,000 going twice. Fair and final call, $2,700,000? Back to the beneficiary."
The Kress now goes back to AEA. Had someone bid $2.7 million on the property, the buyer would own a renovated building, the land, all liquor licenses, and anything inside.
KSWT News 13 asked AEA Employees attending the auction if the opening bid was too high. their response: "Too low."
During the auction, Ayala provided legal descriptions and purchasing instructions on the Kress, located at 284 S. Main Street in Yuma.
"Whether there were bidders or not, just to go ahead and make sure that everybody was clear on what was included with the property, what wasn't included," says Ayala with Trustee Services of Arizona. "And it reverted back to the beneficiary."
Carlos Buitrago regularly bids on foreclosed properties. Although he registered to bid, Buitrago didn't know about the required $10,000 cashier's check.
"I did not know what kind of auction it was going to be, whether it was an absolute auction or like a tax lien sale," says Buitrago. "So you can go and from there be into a bidding frenzy."
Buitrago isn't surprised about $2.7 million opening bid, the same amount former owner Frank Ruiz paid for the property before pricey renovations.
"The building is probably worth just about that, not the $7 million that it was actually owed on it by the previous owner or whatever," says Buitrago. "I think it was worth about that. I'm sad that nobody got it."
The retired Marine envisions an addition to the rooftop bar. He hopes to bid on the Kress soon.
"I'll talk to some people that might want to get into this business," says Buitrago. "I would probably add a restaurant to it. A nice, fancy restaurant."
Ayala wants the best for the popular nightclub.
"I liked it how it was and I loved how it was," says Ayala. "If it was mine, I would have kept it the same and keep it going the way it was. I loved it."
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