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Vacant buildings, once bustling medical facilities dot the rambling hills of the Chanate Campus.
photo credit: (Credit: Marc Albert/KRCB)
If the sale goes through, buyers of a 71-acre abandoned medical campus in Santa Rosa will snag quite a bargain, if the county's recent appraisal is to be believed. 
Considering it was likely among the biggest North Bay land sales in decades, the live online auction had little drama. Caroline Judy, Director of Sonoma County General Services, opened and announced sealed bids at the start; nine in total, starting at two hundred grand, for property valued at more than $23 million.
"The highest bid, from the field bid process was James Neumacher of Vanguard Properties, at $4.2 million. That will establish the starting amount for the oral bids," she said. 
After that, the timed auction went practically silent, until just before bidding closed. A late flurry of bids quickly dwindled competition to two contenders: Eddie Haddad of Las Vegas-based Resources Group and David Shelly of City Ventures, a group involved in redeveloping the Concord Naval Weapons Station. If the rapid staccato of a stereotypical auctioneer was missing, it probably didn't matter. Bay Area real estate tends to generate it's own excitement.
"The next bid will be four million, six hundred thousand. We're bidding in one hundred thousand dollar increments," Judy announced as a new bid came in. 
Last occupied by Sutter Health, medical services have been provided on the property since the 1870s. A recent effort to sell the property fell through after neighbors sued to block the transfer to developer Bill Gallaher. The county's appraisal estimates only about two-thirds of the property can be built on due to typography, seismic faults and riparian habitat. Existing buildings, some in poor repair, come along with the property as-is.
Around 1:30, counter-offers went silent and a victor emerged.
"At this time, the auction has concluded and fifteen million, fifty thousand is the highest price offered, by Eddie Haddad. You are hereby notified that you are the high bidder, and you must comply with all the terms of the bidding offer form."
The Board of Supervisors is expected to accept the bid November 16th.
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