NEW YORK CITY-Locally based Carlton Advisory Services Inc. is conducting the sealed bid auction of Gramercy Capital Corp.’s 74 properties it acquired earlier this year from its $3.3-billion purchase of Jenkintown, PA-based American Financial Realty Trust, as earlier reported. Howard Michaels, chairman of the firm, tells that the properties are being marketed predominantly on an individual basis.

The sale of the outstanding bank branch and retail property assets have a set bid date of Oct. 13, 2008. Gramercy tells that they decline to comment at this time. The portfolio is geographically diverse; it includes assets in 19 states, although most of the assets are located on the east coast with particular concentrations in Florida, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Virginia. Most of the portfolio’s properties are primarily vacant former bank branches, although 12 are cash flowing assets and are fully or partially leased to existing bank tenants.

Michaels tells that Carlton will consider selling the 12 cash flowing properties as a block to an investor. In addition, he says, “we would consider selling the portfolio to one or two buyers.” Carlton executives, Thomas McCarthy, managing director, John MacConnell, vice president, and Sandy Myer are handling the sale for Carlton.

“Buyers have definitely shown a ton of interest,” Michaels tells “These are good retail investment properties all located in prime areas.” He continues to say that “these assets are former and current bank branches that are all located in high visibility areas. Retailers, such as restaurants, fast food, regional banks, clothing stores, would love to purchase these properties, especially since they can buy the properties at a good price.”

Michaels says that the properties, which total 275,000 sf, excluding the six land only assets, range in value from $200,000 to $3 million. As for why Gramercy intended to sell the assets, Michaels says that due to the size of the portfolio that the New York City-based firm bought from American Financial Realty Trust, “these assets are non-core assets and represent the last remaining vacant properties that are not accretive to Gramercy.” Furthermore, he notes, “these assets will sell for very good prices.”

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