If you have a few bucks — or a few million — to spare, you might want to check out two eye-poppingly large auctions this week.
First National Bank will offer the defunct Uta Halee Girls Village's possessions and property in the auctions. They'll sell everything from pots, pans and pencils to nearly new elliptical trainers, big-screen TVs, commercial-grade ovens, lawn tractors, vans — and, in a separate sale, 38 acres of Ponca Hills land and several buildings.
The auction of the goods is scheduled for 10 a.m. today and Wednesday at Uta Halee's Mildred Scott Wellness Center, 10625 Calhoun Road. Bidders also will be able to participate online via Proxibid, at www.proxibid.com. The land and buildings will be sold Thursday.
The auction may be a few items short this morning for the auction. Police reported a little after 3 a.m. that the Mildred Scott Wellness Center was broken into overnight and some items were stolen.
The sales of Uta Halee possessions will represent one of the largest auctions in recent Omaha history, with as many as 20,000 items assembled into nearly 5,000 auction lots, said auctioneer Mark Beacom, vice president of Auction Solutions Inc.
Uta Halee's land and buildings will be sold at public auction at 10 a.m. Thursday at the City-County Building, 1819 Farnam St. The hilly, wooded campus with 12 buildings — including the three-year-old wellness center, a full-sized gym and several houses — has been on the market for eight months, listed for $2.975 million.
“That's the price we're trying to get,” said Kevin Langin, a First National spokesman.
He said the real estate will be sold in two parcels. One is Ponca Pines Academy, a 5,000-square-foot residential treatment and education center for teenage girls with mental health or substance abuse problems. The other parcel is the rest of the Uta Halee campus.
Uta Halee closed in December. The nonprofit corporation defaulted on obligations to First National. Those obligations were secured by the Girls Village campus. Uta Halee board members blamed declining revenue from the State of Nebraska. State officials have reduced spending on residential treatment for mentally ill children.
Officials from Uta Halee and First National would not say how deeply in debt Uta Halee had sunk. Public records show that the nonprofit corporation defaulted on a line of credit it had signed with First National in 2010. The line of credit had a $2 million limit. Uta Halee also defaulted on a $312,000 mortgage loan taken out from First National in 2007.
In addition to what it owes First National, Uta Halee owes more than $250,000 to the Nebraska Department of Labor. That is reimbursement for unemployment benefits the state has paid to former Uta Halee employees, Nebraska Labor Commissioner Catherine Lang said. The department filed state tax liens against the property for about $250,000, and the bill is expected to climb as the state pays more benefits.
Interest has been high in the auction of Uta Halee's possessions, Beacom said.
It's probably the largest auction in Omaha since a February 2011 sale of all the items at the former Ironwood Golf & Country Club, he said.
“There's everything from pickup trucks to pencils, literally,” Beacom said. “We're going to see people from school districts, office equipment buyers, car dealers, restaurant owners” and individuals who frequent estate sales.
He expects particular interest in barely used treadmills and elliptical trainers, computers, John Deere lawn tractors, TVs and projectors and kitchen equipment, much of it commercial grade and “nearly new,” such as stoves, ovens, walk-in coolers, refrigerators and freezers.
Proxibid will do a live simulcast of the auction.
Details, including a catalog of the inventory, are on Auction Solutions website at www.auctionsolutionsinc.com.
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