American Legion property auction

An aerial view of the Geneva American Legion property on the west side of Seneca Lake, which is now available for sealed bidding.

GENEVA — A valuable piece of lakefront property owned by the Geneva American Legion is now being offered through a sealed-bid process.

Michael DeRosa of Michael DeRosa Exchange, a real estate broker and auctioneering company, said he is handling bidding for the nearly 13-acre Legion property at 1115 Lochland Road (Route 14) next to Belhurst Castle.

Deadline for bidding is Monday, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m., said DeRosa whose company has offices in Skaneateles and New York City.

He said the “American Legion has decided to monetize their asset because it’s more property than they are in need of and utilizing.”

DeRosa said the property previously was listed at $1.9 million and is being sold at auction at instead of a typical for sale listing “to drive the highest sale price possible for sellers of incomparable assets within a definitive time period.”

He said there “are no true comparables for this property upon which to base a true appraisal.”

DeRosa said there is no physical bidding on-site at the property and that bidders are required to register before submitting bids, which must be submitted with a pre-approval letter for mortgage or verification of cash funds and a good-faith bidding deposit of 10 percent of the bid price.

He said sealed-bidding “is convenient and discrete, allowing buyers to bid from anywhere in the world. Buyers who want their privacy prefer sealed-bid auctions rather than bidding on-site in person against other buyers. The bids can be structured to allow buyers the opportunity to obtain financing, the ability to conduct inspections and have their attorney review the purchase documents.”

The property on the west side of Seneca Lake has 503 feet of lakeshore and has been owned by the Geneva American Legion Winnek Post 396 since 1951.

It has a commercial kitchen, bar, lounge, three upper stories and an inground swimming pool.

City officials believe the parcel could generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes if redeveloped into high-density, high-end housing, but a rezoning will be needed to make that happen, as the land is currently zoned for agricultural/residential use.

Earlier this year, Council opted to not spend an additional $21,000 to fast-track a zoning change for the district where the Legion parcel is.

The city is in the midst of updating its zoning in conjunction with Barton & Loguidice. City Manager Sage Gerling said the Legion property is not the only one in the area that could potentially be redeveloped if proper zoning was in place.

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