Whidbey Island property to be auctioned

"Freeland developer Chris Kelly has fallen on hard times and plans to auction off six pieces of prime property all over Whidbey Island, from Clinton to the northern tip, according to Elaine Sutter of Auctions Incorporated.The March 10 auction will include the one-year-old Deception Pass Visitors Center, the log building located at the entrance of the Deception Pass Park. Kelly is auctioning off 18.68 acres in the center of Freeland, across from a 42-unit retirement condominium and assisted living facility currently under construction. The property consists of four parcels, including one with a log building.Sutter said the land has never been on the market before and would be well-suited for a medical complex. She has contacted Walgreens and other pharmacy-related companies about the auction.Two new, water-view homes built by Kelly Construction are on the auction block. They are both located on Columbia Avenue in Clinton.There's also a home under construction in Coupeville. Sutter said Kelly will finish the house as part of the sale agreement and the person who wins the bid can pick the colors, carpet and other finishings.Kelly opened the Deception Pass Visitor's Center last February in the hopes of catching some business from the estimated 5.8 million people who supposedly visit the park each year.The big log building includes a visitor's room with tourist information and paid reader boards featuring local businesses. There's an adjoining gift shop and a espresso stand with a drive-through window.Anyone interested in the visitor's center can stop by during business hours. There will be open houses for the Freeland log house on Scott Road and the two Columbia Avenue homes on Feb. 17, 24 and March 3, from noon to 3 p.m.According to Sutter, the auction will be held live with an experience real estate auctioneer at the Useless Bay Golf and Country Club at 11 a.m. There are no minimum sales prices, but she says the winning bids are subject to approval by the bank.In recent years, Sutter says auctions have become a new way to market a property, especially for someone hoping to unload a number of parcels. It's definitely quicker. Kelly's properties will be auction off just over a month after the sale was advertised. "

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