Posted 9/13/16 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
When a new community, Epping Ranch, broke ground in 2013, it was during the frenzied rush of the oil boom.
After decades of a shrinking population in northwestern North Dakota, developers were building a brand new, modern subdivision.
The groundbreaking happened with gold shovels and a ribbon cutting. Even the Washington Times did a story about it.
Fifteen homes were built and dozens of lots were improved, but the project hasn’t seen any activity since.
The properties will go up for auction on Sept. 28. The attached homes have a nominal bid of $50,000 and one single family home has a nominal bid of $75,000.
The improved and unimproved lots throughout the development are being auctioned without reserve.
It looked like another tale of boom dreams collapsing, but Fontana Fitzwilson, executive vice-president of sales for Williams & Williams, said the properties are not distressed.
There were no foreclosures on the properties, and the owner has plenty of capital, she said.
“This project is still a big deal,” she said.
Williams & Williams had some good success selling some residential properties in Williston for Halliburton, and so the owners of Epping Ranch hired the company to sell the properties in the planned community.
Fitzwilson said the auction is just a different approach to selling the properties, which will help it reach a larger audience.
She said their success with the Halliburton properties was an indicator this market still has potential.
A lot of the utility and road infrastructure has been completed and several duplex units have been completed and sold, according to a press release from the company.
“There is opportunity here for builders, developers, investors and families who wish to purchase a new home,” Fitzwilson said.
The auction takes place on site at noon on Sept. 28, and the company has online bidding options.
There will be a public viewing of the units on Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prospective bidders may also drive through the community to view the land. Other information can be found online at www.williamsauction.com/epping.