By Traci L. Moyer
The Herald Bulletin
---- — In less than five minutes the former downtown Frisch’s restaurant, located across from the Madison County Government Center, sold for $7,200.
“It was an absolute auction,” said County Commissioner John Richwine, R-North District. “Hopefully he fixes it up and it revitalizes the downtown instead of just having an empty building.”
The winning bid of $5,200 was placed by Adam Bandawad. An additional $2,000 was added to the final auction price for auctioneer services and fees. Bandawad declined to comment on his plans for the building. Richard Symmes, owner of Symmes Auction Co., auctioned the property and said Bandawad is an investor who has done business with his company.
“He said it would make a good restaurant,” Symmes said.The 3,100-square-foot building, 901 Meridian St., was built in 1894 and includes an unfinished basement and second floor. The county purchased the building more than a decade ago for about $30,000, County Administrator Dan Dykes said.
“It might be a little more than that,” he said. "I think all together we may have $50,000 wrapped up in the building.”
Appraisers have valued the property at between $37,500 and $52,000. Prior to the bidding, Symmes told the bidders the building was currently exempt from taxes, but the taxes would be 3 percent of the assessed value.
Dykes said the county replaced the roof and the air conditioning and had originally planned to move the adult probation offices into the building.
“For whatever reasons, the judges did not want that to happen,” he said. “At least that is my understanding.”
The auction, originally planned for Wednesday's date, took place on Thursday. Dykes said the date was changed by one day after signs with Thursday’s date were posted on the building. The auction was published with Thursday’s date prior to the auction. Mike Vaught, one of the three active bidders during the auction, said the property had several possibilities. “I just came by to take a look at the building,” Vaught said prior to the auction. “You never know what it could be used for.”
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