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Borders building sold for $2.2M
Central Park bookstore space already drawing interest from potential business tenants.

Date published: 8/19/2011

BY BILL FREEHLING

The Borders building in Central Park fetched $2.2 million at a foreclosure auction this morning outside Fredericksburg Circuit Court.

Foundation Companies LLC, which is owned by former Colonial Forge High School teachers Mark Doherty and Jeremy McCommons, submitted the winning bid at the auction through a representative.

Doherty said yesterday that a couple of businesses have expressed an interest in the building, but he said he couldn’t reveal any details.

Doherty and McCommons, who also own Spotsylvania County-based MacDoc Realty, started in the real estate industry in 2002 with a focus on buying distressed homes that they fix up and sell.

Commercial real estate is a new venture for the pair. Doherty said they were attracted to the Borders property for its value. The 24,000-square-foot building and 2.4-acre property are assessed at $3.87 million. Borders is holding a liquidation sale that is expected to end within a few weeks.

Only a handful of people attended today’s auction. The only other bidder was Rick Beale, an attorney for the Troutman Sanders law firm, which was representing a lender group including Wells Fargo Bank. Bill Lewis with the Richmond law firm of

Beale, Davidson, Etherington and Morris handled the auction.

Rick Beale submitted an opening bid of $1.65 million. About 45 gradually increasing offers then followed between Beale and Foundation Companies’ representative, who declined to give his name. When the price got to $2.2 million, Beale called his client and then said he had no further bids.

The buyer was required to deposit $220,000 today, or 10 percent of the purchase price. Closing must occur within 30 days.

The Fredericksburg Retail Limited Partnership bought the property from Carl D. Silver in March 1997 for $1.46 million and has owned it since, according to city records. It’s unclear who the people are in that partnership. Its address is the same as the corporate headquarters of Zaremba Group LLC, a real estate firm that lists the

Fredericksburg Borders store as one of the retail projects it has developed.

The retail building that holds Borders in Central Park has fallen on tough times amid the recession. Linens ‘n Things, Shoppers Food and Verizon Wireless have all closed their stores in that strip in the past few years. Still, area commercial Realtors say that strip is a good location, particularly the Borders store, which is right next to a busy Target store and a manageable size.

In other area book-related news, the Books-A-Million store at The Village at Spotsylvania Towne Centre opened Thursday in a 26,000-square-foot space that Joseph-Beth Booksellers formerly occupied. A grand opening is scheduled for next weekend.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405

bfreehling@freelancestar.com