Inside How A Government-Seized Commercial Building Gets Sold
When Xiao Hua “Edward” Gong was arrested and tried for running a pyramid scheme and laundering money, the U.S. government seized his American properties. Among the millions of square feet are some eye-catching commercial real estate, like a huge Detroit-area hotel, an even-bigger former factory and a majority share of a historic office building in Downtown Chicago.
Those assets are going on the market now, and the seller is as reliable as they come.
“With government-owned assets, the properties are definitely going to sell,” Real Look Vice President of National Development Justin Ochs said. “Inspection and closing windows are relatively short, so you know you have a seller in the marketplace ready, willing and able to sell the property.”
That may catch the eyes of investment capital that has built up dry powder as U.S. investment volume shrank by 32% last year. But if investors approach forfeited properties expecting a distressed asset sale, they will find something completely different.
While states and cities each have their own procedures for taking properties through forfeiture, properties involved in any federal cases are turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service. The agency’s two main objectives with regard to such assets are to liquidate them to repay victims of the associated crime and to…
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