A California-based auction plans to sell off a 503-acre tract of land in Middlesex Township next month following recent delays as would-be bidders requested more time to study the property.
The land being put up for auction is known locally as Pennterra.
The auction will take place in November unless a deal is struck before then, said Igal Feibush of Stone Canyon Capital Partners, a real estate advisory firm that represents Fred Kayne, the principal owner of KMWW Partnership, which owns the land, located off Country Club Road.
The auction was originally slated for September, but a number of investment groups interested in the tract asked for additional time to review the property.
“This is the final delay,” Feibush said.
Braun WorldBid is running the auction for the owner. Qualifying bids are now due Nov. 3, with the winning bidder to be announced Nov. 13.
Pennterra was teed up for mixed-use development more than a decade ago before plans were shelved during the recession. Those approved plans included more than 1,000 homes, as well as a town center with 243,000 square feet of office and retail space.
News of the auction over the summer has been attracting builders and investment groups from Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York, Feibush said.
The location of the development — in the popular Cumberland Valley School District — and local approvals in place for the project have been attractive to home builders looking for new sites to erect homes in a growing housing market. Residential development in that part of Cumberland County has been starting to push west toward Carlisle as other parts of Cumberland Valley have filled in.
Middlesex Township, still part of Cumberland Valley, could be ripe for growth in the coming years.
Small and large builders have expressed interest in the property, with smaller companies eager to partner with a big investor capable of buying the entire tract and selling off lots to a group of builders.
Larger commercial developers have also inquired about the site, Feibush said. A joint bid is possible given the size of the tract. And one large buyer may end up purchasing the land, doing the infrastructure work and then selling pieces to various builders to develop.
The current owner spent more than $3 million to get the property ready for development. The family purchased the site as horse-breeding farm in the early 1980s.
Lemoyne-based RSR Realtors has been marketing the tract ahead of the auction. Listing agent Greg Rothman called the property a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to develop a large site in Cumberland Valley.