The land on which the Old North Baltimore High School sat on for over 80 years was "auctioned off" on Saturday, with three locals attempting to set the highest bid.
The just over four acres located at 124 South Second Street was being offered at acceptable bid, by the North Baltimore Board of Education. The first step in the process was to hold a public auction. Notices were published by the BOE and a small, in-house PR campaign by TheNBXpress to notify anyone (in the whole world) that this property, in the heart of NB, was open for bid, at the auction.
Speculation as to who might show up, or not, ranged from "there won't be anybody there to bid," to "maybe CSX needs it for something," to "a developer ought to put up some condos there," to "maybe Reineke and Kelley's will get into a bidding war...".
The reality of the situation was that three "locals" registered for a bidding number with District Treasurer Eve Baldwin. First to sign in was Charlie Kelley, who was there with his sister Vera Kelley Bury. #2 bidder was Dan Reineke, who was accompanied by local, Jeff Long, Manager of the Reineke Dealership across from the land being auctioned. And, bidder number three was local guy Doug Wickard, who is always looking for a good deal.
In addition to the bidders several school board members- Jaimye Bushey, Tami Thomas, Tim Archer and Russel Bretz, who also acted as the auctioneer, were there. Superintendent Marlene North read the official notices, rules, regulations, procedures and dispensed with the Red Tape. Also in attendance were NB Village Councilman, Bill Cameron; Bonnie Knaggs, Village Historian, and this reporter/photographer.
The opening bid was set at $46,700, for which Bretz could not get a bid. Bretz lowered the opening bid with no takers and asked for a bid, which was made by Wickard at $20,000. The bidding was an interesting process, as the three bidders soon became two, as Wickard dropped out following his $30,000 bid. Reineke and Kelley bid back and forth, in fairly small increments, to Kelley's final bid of $68,000, at which Reineke dropped out.
The North Baltimore Board of Education will now discuss the bid and will decide if they will accept the bid for the sale, during an executive session, at the beginning of Tuesday night's regular BOE meeting, at the school, at 5:30.
Without much fanfare the auction was Saturday, at the Board of Education office.
The interested and the "official", as well as the curious, made a small showing at the auction.
A little perspective - from the Board Office corner at South Main and Water Streets - looking west up Water Street, on the left you can make out the Reineke (former Dukes Sales) car dealership sign; the empty lot in the right foreground begins the Kelley's properties, north on the block, including the Kelley 's car dealership lots on both sides of Main Street. The empty land from the old school is one block west (straight ahead), then running north (to the right) from West Water to State Street.
Folks are very interested in what will develop in this space!