FORESTDALE — Close to 40 people gathered at the former Forestdale fire station on Wednesday afternoon for a chance to be the new owner of the site.
After a contested bid, the building and property located at 85 Route 130 sold to Saeed Chaudhry for $685,000.
Chaudhry said he has no plans for the site, other than to put a business there. He declined to comment further.
He is listed as the principal owner of several businesses across the Cape, according to the secretary of commonwealth’s website, including the Mobil gas station across the street from the former fire station.
His other businesses include gas stations and convenience stores in Hyannis, South Dennis, West Barnstable and Mashpee.
The bidding started at $200,000 and quickly went up, becoming a battle between two bidders. The second-highest bidder was Evan Cohen, owner of the medical building next door at 83 Route 130.
Being able to own the lot would have been perfect, Cohen said after the auction.
“Since I’ve lived here, I always wanted that property,” said Cohen, who has lived in town since 1998.
He said he had planned to put a restaurant at the location. His hopes not quite dashed, he said the buyer could still default.
“We’ll see what happens,” Cohen said.
If the buyer were to default, he would lose his $20,000 deposit, and the town would have the right to convey the premises to the second-highest bidder, according to the sample memorandum of sale.
The former fire station is a 2,824-square-foot, single-story masonry building that sits on close to an acre of land. The building has four overhead doors, an office, kitchen area, bunk room, full bathroom and an exhaust system and generator.
The property is in the business district, which allows for a wide range of uses, such as a beauty salon, barbershop, convenience store, medical offices, professional offices, restaurant or retail stores, according to Ralph Vitacco, director of planning and economic development for the town.
The town-owned property was not subject to any back liens or taxes, said Paul Zekos, of Zekos Groups Auctioneers. There is a 5% buyers premium, which will be added to the final purchase of sale, he said.
The winning bid was a little more than double the property’s assessed value of $337,300, but Zekos said it’s hard to say whether the property sold for a high amount.
There is a lot of interest in Sandwich, and many people want to be in the community, Zekos said after the auction. Plus, the property is in a great location off Route 130, putting it in a high-visibility spot, he said.
The auction was delayed from summer due to concerns over COVID-19, Zekos said. The company wanted to ensure that everyone could take part, and many did.
“I mean, how many fire stations are going to go up for sale this year?” he asked.
Follow Beth Treffeisen on Twitter @BTreffeisenCCT