Auction.com Set To Sell American Chopper Building

American Chopper Auction

American Chopper is back in the news. The company’s iconic headquarters building – which symbolized the enormous success attained by Orange County Choppers – will soon be auctioned off.

American Chopper was unlike any television show in recent memory, or maybe ever. Over 165 episodes it illustrated the inner workings of the American workplace, something rarely seen on television. It showed how raw metal and a bunch of parts were turned into something beautiful and complex. You didn’t have to be a biker to understand that real craftsmanship was involved – or that employees such as Vinnie DiMartino and Rick Petko reflected the best of the American workplace.

While the series illustrated the ins and outs of custom motorcycle construction, American Chopper was far more than a bike-building show. It followed the rise of a small family business and its successes, fame, and failures. It showed the raw and naked dynamics of a father, Paul Teutul, Sr., and sons Paul Teutul, Jr. and Mikey Teutul, torn apart by disputes, lawsuits, and arguments — fights so psychologically painful that they were often hard to watch. If there is such a thing as “reality TV” than this was it, a program with unscripted moments that were beyond compelling.

American Chopper also showed the fruits of financial success, homes that got larger and larger and business facilities that grew as the company went from a basement workshop to a custom-designed headquarters building along with big questions involving real estate, mortgages and even the possibility of foreclosure. Of all things, it was in part a real estate show, one that paralleled the rise of the American marketplace from 2000 through 2007, a marketplace which ultimately crashed.

American Chopper Headquarters Auction

Official property records show that the OCC headquarters building was constructed in 2008, sold for $17,160,171 at the end of 2011, and resold for $4,706,019 in mid-2015. The County said that for 2015 the property had a “full market value” of $10,538,200.

What the property is really worth will soon be determined. The building and the property – but not the OCC business – are scheduled to be auctioned.

According to Auction.com, which will handle the event, “the property was built in 2008 specifically for the current tenant. The core business of the current tenant is the manufacturing of customized motorcycles. The current layout of the 61,305± SF building is: a combined 20,000± SF retail store, restaurant, and bowling alley on the 1st floor adjacent to the showroom displaying their customized motorcycles and an industrial portion of the building. The second floor office space has been vacated by the tenant and could be leased to other tenants. The property has a total of 253 parking spots with a large portion of the parking available in a covered garage below the building.”

In effect, OCC is a tenant in the building it constructed. From a real estate perspective, this has evolved into a form of sale-and-leaseback transaction, though the path to this result involved the design and construction of the building, a battle with the mortgage lender, the possibility of outright foreclosure, and then resolution.

Real Estate Auction Terms

Up for sale are the structure itself as well as the land it occupies. The building includes a total of 97,093 sq. ft. of which 61,305 sq. ft. are rentable. The lot size totals 4.27 acres. Sixty-four percent of the building is rented and the net operating income (NOI) is $415,000.

The terms of the sale require a $10,000 deposit and a $900,000 starting bid. The seller in this case has a “reserve” price, meaning the winning bid must meet a certain minimum amount otherwise the sale does not go through. How much is the reserve? Only the seller knows. (Alternatively, with an “absolute” auction, the highest bidder wins, regardless of the sale price.)

For details, see the Auction.com sale page.

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