Views from Sausalito: Inside the Casa Madrona Foreclosure Auction that Wasn’t
by Riette Gallienne, Contributing Editor
This was my first foreclosure auction, and if all of Sausalito’s hotels and restaurants do as well as we want them to, I hope it will be my last. A regular event that usually draws about 10 people, this week’s auction with the Casa Madrona properties on Bridgeway and up the hill on Bulkeley swelled the crowd to about 75 by my very rough count.
Those old front steps would have held this crowd of foreclosure-watchers and still allowed visitors room to pass, but now I’ve changed the subject.
Fashion statement for a big foreclosure auction with a $13,000,000 minimum bid? Several people arrived with their bluetooth cell phone earpieces firmly in place, and I wondered if they planned to relay the bid-by-bid action to foreign potentates and captains of industry for whom they served as surrogates.
Unfortunately, after standing around with their earpieces glinting in the sun as they talked earnestly with fellow bidders, they all took off their bluetooths and secured them out of sight. My visions of conference calls in distant boardrooms faded.
I certainly wasn’t in a position to bid $13,000,000 for the buildings, as charming as I think they could be with just a couple of million invested in TLC. Looking around, it was my guess that the same was true of most of the other watchers.
The Casa Madrona foreclosure auction was not the only one that was postponed. In fact, mercifully, postponements were the order of the day for the mostly-residential list. Each property’s address was read off, and in turn a reason was described for the postponement. Each time I said a little prayer to myself that the owners would find a way to work things out and keep their homes.
After the Casa Madrona non-auction was announced I walked down the steps to go to my car and drive to Sausalito. All the way down Highway 101 I was thinking about how I could make sure we could always pay our mortgage.
Is that why we were all there, to see the maw of the meat-grinder chew up a famous property, and to walk away re-enforced with resolve to pay our bills on time?
By the time we all go back on October 6 perhaps I’ll have figured it all out.
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