AUCTION RESULTS: Occhifinto Opts for Oyster
By GEORGE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
August 20, 2013
Northampton County’s newest land baron Robert Occhifinto bought three out of five County properties offered at a bankruptcy auction yesterday at Aqua Restaurant. The properties are in or on the road to Oyster, about seven miles northeast of Cape Charles. Occhifinto dabbled in bidding for other properties, but never seriously.
Two Bay Creek houses, including one built by developer Dickie Foster, were the big-block items. Foster’s former house, known as Heron Pointe, crossed the auction block at an even $1 million. Its tax assessment is closer to $3 million.
All the auction properties belong to the Madonia family, whose tomato growing business on the Eastern Shore and Florida is in receivership.
Another Madonia house in Bay Creek, “Magnolia Plantation,” did almost as well, despite its tax assessment being over a million dollars less than the Heron Pointe property. Magnolia Plantation sold for $950,000.
Two properties in Chincoteague and one in Painter were also part of the auction. A Chincoteague house sold for $257,000, and a .14-acre waterfront lot brought $47,000. The Painter house was the lowest bid of the day at $41,000.
CONTINUED FROM FIRST PAGE
The auction continues today (Tuesday) with over 3,000 acres of Madonia farmland and packing houses on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Today’s auction site is the Exmore Moose Lodge, where bidding begins at 1 p.m.
The Madonia properties earlier were offered at silent auction, where bidders submitted their best offer in writing. After viewing the high bids, the bankruptcy judge declined to accept them, instead scheduling this week’s live auctions. In every case yesterday, live bids exceeded the sealed bids received earlier. This week’s auction bids are expected to be approved by the court at a September 5 bankruptcy hearing.
Bids were also received over the Internet and telephone, and the auction company declined to identify any winners other than by their bid card number. (Occhifinto’s bid card was 440.) The winning bids and bid card numbers were displayed on the Tracts chart below.
Occhifinto, who bid $4.6 million last December for Aqua Restaurant, King’s Creek Marina, and other Marina Village properties, yesterday had his eye on Oyster. He bid $125,000 for 2 acres on Oyster Bay including the site of a former clam processing plant. When asked why he bought the property, Occhifinto said he’s attracted to anything on the water.
In what seemed the best buy of the day, Occhifinto nabbed the 14-acre Webster Canning property in Cheriton for $45,000. The site includes several large buildings and has a tax value of $1.4 million. A real estate developer at the auction suggested that the site would be ideal for a sewage treatment plant — and indeed it was earlier considered for that.
Finally, Occhifinto bought “Parsons House” on 4 acres just outside Oyster for $165,000.
Occhifinto, 51, is a New Jersey entrepreneur who made his fortune producing and marketing over-the-counter diet supplements. While clearly possessed of deep pockets, he has shown a penchant for buying distressed properties at fire sale prices. In June he bought the 104-room Kiptopeke Inn, listed for sale at $995,000. Occhifinto reportedly offered $300,000, and waited six months for the seller to agree. Last year he bought the Peacock Motor Inn and rescued it from disrepair.
His latest plans include opening “Sharkey’s Bar” above Aqua Restaurant, converting the former Marina Village Shops into a banquet/reception area, and constructing a hotel close to Aqua.