Hundreds attend bank property auction that tallies $1.1M

The bidding started at $500.

For 11 lots in a Warner Robins subdivision.

In a matter of seconds, the bids climbed to $5,000, then $10,000 before stalling.

“Who started this thing at $500?” caller Drew Dixon asked. “I’m at $12,000. Thirteen ... are you coming?”

Auction workers scanned the several hundred would-be buyers packed into the conference room at the Hilton Garden Inn -- and spilling out by the swimming pool -- looking for a nod or raised hand. Even more bidders were registered online.

“I got 13 on the Internet,” Dixon told the crowd, fishing for more. “That’s 11 lots ... for one money.”

Finally, the bidding ended at $14,000, sold online to bidder No. 5173.

The lots in Heritage Hills were one of 56 offerings put on the block Wednesday by auctioneer John Dixon & Associates. The proper-

ties were inherited by State Bank when it took over the assets of Security Bank of Macon after it failed last summer.

The properties ranged from subdivision lots and commercial buildings to houses and mobile homes in Bibb, Houston, Peach, Jones, Monroe, Crawford, Butts, Hancock and Wilkinson counties. Most of the properties were in Middle Georgia but three were in McIntosh County, near the coast.

Another 62 offerings of former Security Bank properties in the Atlanta area were sold Tuesday, bringing in more than $1 million, said Bob Green, an employee of the auction company.

Wednesday’s turnout caught auctioneer John Dixon by surprise.

“We know you’re crowded. We know you’re hot,” he said. “We apologize for underestimating the attendance.”

Dixon assured the crowd the sale would be worth the inconvenience. The properties were sold at absolute auction, meaning the winning bid -- however low -- would be the selling price.

“This may very well be a bad time to sell,” he said. “But I guarantee you, it’s a good time to buy.”

With that, he went over some ground rules and turned the bidding over to his son Drew, the caller, who made his way to the podium as big band music played over speakers set out by the swimming pool.

“I got 11 lots, all for one money,” he said. “One money.”

About three hours later, all the properties had been sold. The sale totaled about $1.1 million, John Dixon said, about the same as the Atlanta auction.

To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.