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“The Stone House” is Up for Auction!

If you’ve driven through Brookside in the last hundred or so years, you’ve seen it. If you’ve strolled through the popular Brookside Art Fair you’ve probably paused to admire it. If you’ve shopped, dined or gallery-hoped in Brookside, you’ve undoubtedly at least noticed it. Resolutely anchoring the corner of Wornall and 63rd since 1920, it’s the landmark Brookside home known as “The Stone House.”

It’s certainly easy to see where the property’s name came from. The impressive stone structure with its matching wall and carriage house is a head-turner, even in Brookside which is known for streets lined with charming and unique homes. It was built by Dr. Charles Ozias, an early cancer researcher, to serve as both his private residence and his medical office. The entry porch on the east served as the patient entrance. What is now the living room was originally the waiting room, while Dr. Ozias saw patients in what is now the adjoining den.

The carriage house, now a two-story garage with screened porch, has served a variety of purposes over the years. It was originally maid’s quarters and later became temporary home for extended family. Interestingly, the original homing pigeon boxes on the second floor are still intact.

At the time of construction, 63rd Street was still a gravel road and those quintessential Brookside shops, restaurants and galleries were yet to be dreamed of. It was solidly built of concrete with stone from a Carthage, MO quarry at a cost of $10,000. The large home had many significant features for its time including a bathroom on each floor (4), an English walk-out basement, a dumb waiter, a greenhouse, and even a top-floor ballroom.

The Harline family (American Associated Wholesale Grocers) bought the house in 1931 and owned it into the 1980’s. The next significant chapter in the home’s history came when its present owner, Janice Kinney, purchased it in 2000. She lived in Brookside at the time and had admired it for several years, thinking what a wonderful bed and breakfast it would make. In 2002, after significant updates and renovations she opened “The Stone House B&B” which operated successfully through 2008.

With other opportunities demanding her attention, and having returned the home to a single-family residence, Janice has chosen auction to expedite the sale. “This is a wonderful home and Brookside has so much to offer,” she says. “Many people have admired the home over the years and I believe auction is the best way to offer it to the public.”

On the advice of her Realtor and friends experienced with real estate auctions, Janice chose Cates Auction & Realty to handle the marketing and sale. Cates vice president, Greg Duncan, is enjoying working with Janice. “She has been a great caretaker of this historic home, preserving its character and charm while bringing it up to current standards. It is ready for a new chapter.” The new owners will appreciate enhancements such as the enlarged master bath (with fireplace), the private third floor suite (former ballroom), and the cozy screened porch added to the carriage house/garage.

Cates president and chief auctioneer, Jeff Cates, says his staff is working hard to get the word out about the auction. “I’m amazed how many people know about and appreciate this house. We’re seeing good response to the auction advertising.” He adds that several of the Brookside business owners are even helping by putting materials about the auction in their shops and restaurants. Jadore, The Blue Grotto, The Brookside Business Center and Shop Girls all have signs on display with QR codes that load the webpage for the auction.

The home will be sold to the highest acceptable bidder at an on-site auction Friday, February 1, 2013, at 10:00 A.M. Registration opens at 9:00 A.M. Cates Auction has a number of opportunities for buyers interested in this home. Detailed information, a photo gallery, video, auction terms, documents and a “Property Information Package” are available at www.CatesAuction.com. Full brochures are available in information boxes on the east and south sides of the property. Additionally, Cates staff will be hosting open house events Sundays, January 20th and 27th from 2:00 to 4:00 P.M. Potential bidders may also contact the company at 816-781-1134 or sold@catesauction.com.

Duncan sums it up this way, “When you have a home this special, in a place as unique and desirable as Brookside, everyone wants to see new owners who will enjoy it and who will contribute to the local area the way Janice has. This auction is a truly unique opportunity!”

JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER – BUT CRACK IT OPEN ANYWAY!

Despite the old saying, sometimes you really can judge a book by its cover. But common sense also suggests that it’s a good idea to open it up and read a bit before you buy. Jeff Cates, president of North Kansas City based Cates Auction & Realty is pleased with what’s on his company’s shelf in the way of upcoming real estate auctions. “We have some beautiful homes scheduled for auction in the next few months and we invite all interested buyers to come to open house events to tour the properties of their choice.”

On Friday, January 25th, a luxury penthouse will be sold to the highest acceptable bidder. It is a 2-story, 2,520 square foot home on the 28th and 29th floors of the iconic San Francisco Tower. According to Cates Auction vice president, Greg Duncan, aside from the jaw-dropping views and wonderful amenities, what sets this penthouse apart from ordinary condos around Kansas City (in addition to having two fireplaces) is the private 625 square foot open-air terrace that overlooks Liberty Memorial. “Even with most high-end condos you’re lucky to find a little balcony for fresh air and you may be looking right at another building. This is like having a back yard 28 stories in the air with panoramic views of the city,” said Duncan.

Cates notes that this will be the third time his company has auctioned a home in San Francisco Towers. “Owners there love that in addition to the regular amenities and security, they have a beautiful 1.5 acre park on the 4th level as well as covered, climate controlled walkways to all the shopping, dining and entertainment of Crown Center, Union Station and more.” The current owner of this penthouse has her eye on a new home and chose the auction method to speed up her sale. The penthouse will be open for public open house events this Sunday and next from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Guests must park in visitor parking and register in the lobby in order to view the property.

For those who prefer more square footage and some acreage to go with it, on Saturday, January 26th, Cates will be auctioning a beautiful executive home on 24 acres just outside Lee’s Summit. The stately brick Georgian home with tall white columns sits behind a gated drive and looks out over a private 5-acre stocked lake. Cates auction coordinator Shane Maxwell took the exterior photos of the home. “It is stunning to drive up and see that gorgeous home across the lake. As you get closer and see the architectural detail it really makes a statement,” he said.

The approximately 9,700 square foot home has six large bedrooms and four fireplaces. It was custom built and is filled with extra features and high end finishes. The lower level includes a full service bar with seating for 12, a second kitchen, gaming areas and media space. The property also has a heated inground pool and 40×60 barn with two horse stalls. The sellers, who designed and built the home, have decided to downsize and chose auction to simplify the sale process while they focus on their move. Cates staff will be hosting open house events for prospective bidders this Sunday and next from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Onsite registration is required for entry.

True to Cates’ 71-year commitment to provide useful and complete information to auction buyers, in addition to open house events, prospective bidders can find details, see videos, look through photo galleries, and download Property Information Packages (PIPs) at www.CatesAuction.com. The PIPs include preliminary title commitment, disclosures, warranties, comparable sales, auction terms, sample contracts and other information to fully equip bidders as they prepare for auction.

The website also has information on other properties coming up for auction. “Our schedule changes rapidly since auction properties are only available for a short time,” says Cates. He encourages buyers to join the weekly email list or follow the company on Facebook or Twitter to stay abreast of upcoming auctions. He adds, “There’s no easier or faster way to purchase a quality piece of real estate than at a Cates auction. Our sellers are ready to sell – that’s why they scheduled an auction!”

Owners of quality homes who would like to know more about the auction marketing strategy may call 816-781-1134 to speak with a Cates agent.

An All-Star 70th Anniversary Year for Local Real Estate Company

As our city enjoys the Major League Baseball All-Star Game hoopla, 70 years ago New York City was in a similar state of mind. The 1942 All-Star Game took place July 6th at the famous Polo Grounds stadium where the American League won the contest 3 to 1. Baseball fans will remember that 1942 was a very good year for Missouri with the St. Louis Cardinals beating the New York Yankees 4 to 1 in the MLB World Series and the Kansas City Monarchs beating the Homestead Grays 4 to 1 in the Negro League World Series.

Also in 1942, in Kearney, Mo., Dean Cates entered the auction business! Now 70 years later, Dean’s grandson, Jeffrey Dean Cates heads the business as president and chief auctioneer. “I’m incredibly proud to be following in my grandfather and father’s footsteps as our company celebrates our 70th anniversary,” Cates said. “I know they would be amazed to see what we’re doing in 2012!”

Cates should be proud. According to Bloomberg Business Week, “about 40 percent of  U.S. family-owned businesses turn into second-generation businesses, but far fewer – approximately 13 percent – are passed down successfully to a third generation.” Unfortunately for many multi-generational businesses a resistance to change brings their eventual demise. Not so at Cates where recent years have seen the addition of professional staff, the launch of new technologies, and a strong “continuous improvement” mentality.

The type of properties and sellers has dramatically expanded along with the company’s strategy. For example, on July 26th, Cates will be selling a former medical diagnostic imaging center located north of  Interstate 70 off 39th Street in Independence, a few blocks from Centerpoint Medical Center. A partnership of doctors owns the attractive 4,367 square foot brick building. No longer needing the building, they chose auction to expedite the sale and reach the largest possible buyer pool. Public inspections of the building are coming up July 12 and 19 from 10:00am to Noon. As with most Cates properties, the building may be purchased at the live on-site auction, via live synchronous online bidding, or by making an offer in advance.

Also on the auction schedule is a three-story, 18,000 square foot office building located in Kansas City’s “Central Business District” at 601 Walnut. It will be sold July 11th.  A 54-acre farm scheduled for auction on July 12th just sold to a buyer who made a “pre-auction” offer which was accepted by the seller. Later in the month a handful of residential investment properties will be sold via an online-only auction event. Details of all upcoming auctions can be found at www.CatesAuction.com.   

“Our company has grown and prospered because we constantly challenge ourselves to find better ways to serve our auction sellers and buyers,” says Cates. The formula is obviously working. Notable sales already completed this year are an executive home on 9 acres, a former aquatics center, a 15,000 square foot office/industrial building, a 38-acre farm, a 120-acre commercial tract, plus a host of other residential, land, and commercial properties in 20 cities around Kansas and Missouri. “It’s been a very busy six months!” says Cates.

The company predicts an equally busy second half of 2012. Properties being evaluated for auction in the next few months include 3 luxury homes, a unique retail/commercial building, a parking garage, and numerous single family homes including several estates. Interested buyers should “like” the company’s Facebook page and/or subscribe to their weekly email alerts for new auction announcements. Interested sellers are encouraged to call the company at 816-781-1134 or submit a web request for a free auction analysis of their properties.

“There are a lot of things my dad and grandfather would be surprised about in our business today,” says Cates. In 1942, the average new home cost in the United States was $3,770. Seventy years later, the average price for a property at Cates Auction exceeds $150,000. “In addition to the obvious changes in sale prices, volume and technology, I’m sure they would never have foreseen the days of a fully staffed office and a professional sales team.” (In fact, openings currently exist for experienced sales people. Job details can be found at www.CatesAuction.com/Sales.)

“I’m grateful for the legacy of the past 70 years and I’m proud to have a very strong team of people in place who are dedicated to our future,” says Cates. The company’s tagline, inaugurated at the beginning of 2012 says it all. “70 Years. 3 Generations. 1 Vision.”

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AMONG AUCTION OPPORTUNITIES

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AMONG AUCTION OPPORTUNITIES

Curious what’s going on in commercial real estate? For a quick quasi-scientific snapshot, type the phrase “commercial real estate” in at www.google.com/trends. What you’ll see is a chart with a pale blue line jaggedly moving from the upper left corner to the lower right depicting search volume.

To serious sellers that line means it’s time to do something different to get their commercial properties sold.  To buyers that same line simply means opportunity. Whether because of the current market conditions, or in spite of them, commercial real estate auctions are increasingly becoming the way for motivated sellers to find qualified buyers.

To address this growing trend, some big name national commercial brokerages have been scrambling to launch their own versions of auction “divisions” within their companies. Others have wisely turned to established professional auction companies for partnership opportunities. “Auction is a specialty, honed over years of experience and transactions. It is not a new product launch or test market initiative!” says Jeff Cates, the third generation owner of North Kansas City-based Cates Auction & Realty Company. Currently celebrating their 70th anniversary, Cates Auction has handled a wide variety of commercial auctions in Kansas and Missouri, including warehouses, retail and restaurant locations, medical offices, strip centers, development and pad sites and even a former hospital.

Cates is enthused about the auction strategy for moving commercial properties in the current market. “When prospective buyers see a Cates Auction sign go up on a property, they can be confident this is the time to buy.” He explains, “Our clients get it. They have embraced the auction strategy and are prepared to sell.”

A perfect example is the upcoming auction sale of a quality 3-story commercial building located at 601 Walnut in Kansas City’s “Central Business District.” Three tenants currently lease approximately 50% of the 18,000 square feet.  Sweetening the deal are two parking lots included in the sale, allowing for 40 parking spaces in addition to street parking.

Prominently located at the corner of Walnut and 6th Street, the building enjoys excellent visibility from I-35 (and sweeping views from inside).  The River Market is a short walk to the north and The Power & Light District is just 7 blocks to the south. Major renovations in 1986 and 2002 have modernized the building while subsequent tenant finishes maximize the aesthetic of exposed brick and the character of warehouse-worn hardwoods.

Industry veteran and principal of Waterford Properties, Chuck Connealy, first recommended the auction strategy and Cates Auction to the building’s owner. "This is an excellent property and I felt like auction was the best method for my client to expedite this sale. Given the location, square footage and condition of the building, along with the included parking lots, this is a terrific buying opportunity in the Kansas City commercial market." 

After researching the auction approach and consulting with the Cates team, the building’s out-of-town owner completely agreed. "The building has been in our family for many years. With a change in family circumstances I recently found myself responsible for the building and I am not interested in being a long distance landlord. We chose auction to maximize exposure of this great building and find the party willing to pay the most for it. I’m excited for auction day!"

The property will be sold on site at auction at 12:30pm, Wednesday, July 11th. The final public preview is scheduled for Thursday, July 5th from 11:00am until 1:00pm. Prospective buyers may also schedule private showings by contacting Cates Auction. Property details, documents, photos and auction terms are available at www.CatesAuction.com/Walnut. As with all Cates properties, a generous buyer’s agency commission is also offered and any party may submit an offer for consideration prior to the auction.

The Cates staff is happy to assist buyers with questions about the property or the auction process at 816.781.1134 or sold@catesauction.com. The company’s website also lists all upcoming auctions including other commercial buildings, land and residential properties. Owners of real estate are encouraged to contact the company to have their properties evaluated for auction.

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