Auction Company Says MacMurray Campus Ready for Thursday Sale

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 11, 2020 at 4:25pm

The historic MacMurray College Campus goes on the auction block tomorrow at 10:00 am, and the auction company tapped to sell the 60 acre campus is pleased with interest in the multiple lots available.

MacMurray has been divided into 18 parcels that will be auctioned off by Williams and Williams Real Estate Auctions based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Fontana Fitzwillson, Executive Vice President of sales for Williams and Williams says a lot of thought went into how the campus was divided up into lot listings.

We had a lot of conversations with not only the college but out auction operations team about what made the most sense in terms of easements, in terms of the way the tax parcels already lay out, the existing separation of utilities. There’s a lot of thought that goes into the strategy on how you sell.

We’re happy with the way the campus is parceled, we think it makes sense for buyers, it doesn’t cause buyers to have to purchase things they don’t want while at the same time it creates competition and all the things that an auction brings in terms of benefits to the seller.

Fitzwillson says several of the 18 tracts up for auction were organized based on potential reuse for educational purposes or other uses by community groups. Tract 5 is being offered as a “mini campus” consisting of four buildings, fields and lots occupying 14.5 acres. It includes the Henry Pfeiffer Library, Gamble Campus Center, Jenkins Education complex and Julian Hall.

Tract 1 includes three buildings on nearly six acres, including the 1,000-person Annie Merner Chapel, the Putnam/Springer academic building, and the McClelland Dining Hall.

Fitzwillson says some of the parcels will be considered sold as soon as the hammer drops, while other listings have allowance for the MacMurray Board of Trustees to be a little more selective.

The sellers have seven days to accept or reject the high bids. Some of these properties are selling absolute, which means they are absolutely going to sell on auction day regardless of what they sell for. So those will be decided immediately, and then others will be selling subject to seller confirmation, in other words there is a reserve.

Depending on where everything falls, they may accept everything or there may some others that they don’t, so it really just kind of depends on how it all ends up at the end of the day. But there are some assets that are selling absolute, so that’s exciting for buyers because they know that they are absolutely going to get the property if they are the high bidder on auction day.”

The outdoor auction will begin at 10 a.m., Thursday at the tennis courts behind Rutledge Hall and Kathryn Hall so as to comply with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recent order restricting indoor gatherings to 25 people or fewer.

Bidders will be able to bid in person, online or both. Fitzwilliams says the simultaneous online and live formats gives the seller the best of both worlds and greater opportunity to get the highest price per parcel.

They can either show up and bid live in real time in front of the auction team, or if they prefer they can be an online buyer. If they are an online bidder then they will register in advance of the auction. They will be able to hear the auction live and then be able to bid in real time just like they were there in person.

So what that does for the college is, it kind of creates the best of both worlds because you have a seasoned auctioneer that’s driving that bidding while at the same time you have reach in audience of literally a world wide audience that will be able to compete at the same time.”

Fitzwillson says all of the buildings listed will be open for a final viewing prior to the start of the auction. Terms of the auction require a 10 percent non-refundable deposit and 30-day close.

Bidders may participate on site or online simultaneously throughout the live auction, but bidders wishing to bid online must register to bid at for the auction.

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Fitzwillson says there will also be a raffle held during the sale of a chair that was provided by the school. She says bidders both online and in person tomorrow will have the opportunity to enter the raffle, and anyone who attended either of the open house site viewings were given the opportunity as well.