07.17.2014 Newsday | Former Southampton Post Office to go on the auction block
By Lisa Du
The former Southampton Post Office is slated to be auctioned off online next month.
The Colonial-style, red brick building at 39 Nugent St., which housed the town's postal operations for more than 40 years, will hit the digital auction block on Auction.com on Aug. 11 with a starting bid of $750,000, according to the Bobrow family, owners of the property.
The building, vacant since the post office moved out in 2009 for a bigger space, could fetch up to $4 million, said Gabe Amzallag of Auction.com in a news release.
The auction comes after initial efforts to lease or sell the 6,700-square-foot space were unsuccessful, said Norman Bobrow, a Manhattan-based developer and one of the owners of the property. A potential lease for a TD Bank branch fell through, and a listing to sell the property for $6.5 million saw little interest, he said.
Bobrow even pitched the space to film director Steven Spielberg as a home for Spielberg's Norman Rockwell collection. Spielberg's office declined -- saying the art was frequently on tour, Bobrow said.
The family chose an online auction because the "platform gets us great exposure, gets us out there to all users . . . in a way a local auction wouldn't accomplish," said Zev Bobrow, Norman's son.
The building, near the most active area of Southampton's downtown, around Main Street and Jobs Lane, could do well as a destination location such as a fitness center, showroom or restaurant, said Jayson Siano, a broker and managing principal at Garden City-based Sabre Real Estate. The commercial real estate market in Southampton has been strong this year and there are good prospects for the building, Siano said.
"The economy has picked up and the seasonal rental market for housing was a lot more active this year," he said. "Obviously, the retailers followed that as well."
Norman Bobrow's father, Louis Bobrow, left the building and several other properties to his 16 heirs when he died in 2006. At one point, the family says Louis Bobrow owned the largest number of post offices in New York State. The Bobrows still own 14 post offices in New York and New Jersey.