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Two homes sell, one doesn’t, in luxury auctions


Lemon Tree owner George Shinn managed to extricate himself from two oceanfront homes he no longer wanted with comparatively modest losses at a luxury auction last weekend, but the owner of the so-called “barcode lady’s house” didn’t even come close to getting the $12.9 million minimum she was seeking in a separate auction.

The most high-profile property was the lavish south island estate Palazzo Di Mare, commonly known on the island as “the barcode lady’s house.” Offered at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 30 by Naples-based DeCaro Luxury Auctions, the house reportedly attracted few bidders and did not sell.

But two homes offered by Concierge Auctions and represented locally by Clark French and Cindy O’Dare drew a combined 25 bidders and sold for prices much closer to asking than most other homes auctioned in Vero in the past few years.

The 4-bedroom, 5-bath, 4,200- square-feet home at 980 Crescent Beach Road in Castaway Cove was listed most recently for $3,795,000. It sold for $3.3 million, including the buyer’s premium, according to French.

Concierge’s second offering – a 6-bedroom, 8.5-bath, 13,522-square-foot home at 360 N. Blue Wave Lane in Ocean Pearl was listed most recently for $6.5 million. It sold for $5,005,000, including the buyer’s premium.

Both homes were owned by Shinn, former owner of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team. A relative newcomer to Vero, Shinn, 74, owned the homes for only a short period. He bought the Ocean Pearl house in 2014 for $5,450,000 and paid $3.5 million for the Crescent Beach Road property in August 2015.

During the same timeframe, Shinn bought the Lemon Tree restaurant on Ocean Drive and tried to win the city’s backing to create an antique car museum to house his auto collection in the old diesel power plant, where a brewery and restaurant now are slated to open.

Disenchantment with Vero after the car museum plan failed may explain why Shinn is selling the two oceanfront homes at a loss of more than a half million so soon after buying them.

Shinn, who is worth an estimated $100 million, bought the houses through a company called Emporia LLC, so his name is not on the property records, and French would not confirm his ownership.

French did say the loss was not a concern to the owner.

“When affluent buyers are through with a property, they simply want it sold. Economics can be secondary. And, of course, there is value in liquidity. Everyone was happy with the outcome, the seller and the buyers. It was a good deal for everyone concerned.”

Laura Brady, president of Concierge Auctions, was equally upbeat about the auctions, which took place at the N. Blue Wave Lane at 6 p.m. on Friday night, preceded by a cocktail reception for buyers and their agents.

“The sales were a great success,” Brady said. “We had 14 bidders for one property and 11 for the other, which is a great count, considering our average number of bidders per auction is eight. The seller was pleased with the outcome.”

French said about half the bidders were present on Friday night, while the others were bidding by phone. The Crescent Beach Road home, which attracted the highest number of bidders, was sold first, to a Vero buyer. A buyer from Orlando then put in the winning bid for the N. Blue Wave Lane house.

French said the auctions had a significant secondary benefit for the real estate market in Vero, especially for high-end home sellers.

“There were only two winning bids, so there were 22 or 23 buyers left over. Many of them are new to Vero and are now looking at other comparable properties since they missed out on the auctioned houses. We have had a number of showings with some of these folks since the auctions.”

Meanwhile, Daniel DeCaro, owner of DeCaro Luxury Auctions, said in an email he is continuing to negotiate with one of the bidders in the Palazzo Di Mare auction, trying to bring the buyer and seller together on a price to achieve a sale.

Brady said her company is “working towards other sales in the area, but I can't release details yet.”