Land sells for $30 million at foreclosure auction in Collier County

A chunk of land described by one observer as “the monster,” sold for $30 million at a courthouse auction in Collier County today.

Up for bid was more than 2,000 acres near the Florida Sports Park off Collier Boulevard. The land was once destined for a luxury golf course development by Toll Brothers, a nationally known builder.

The record land sale became a record foreclosure. The final judgment in foreclosure exceeded $103.4 million.

“We came to buy it and we did,” said George Bauer, the winning bidder.

Bauer was a partner in Vision & Faith Inc., which assembled the land and then sold it to Toll-Rattlesnake LLC, a joint venture between Toll Brothers and Sembler Co., a Florida-based commercial developer.

Bauer was the seller and the lender on the land. He held the mortgage and had a lien on the property.

“It’s a delightful piece of property,” he said.

Bauer said he was prepared to bid all the way up to the judgment amount. There was one other bidder at the auction, who stopped at $28.5 million.

Bidding started at $100, which is typical for foreclosure auctions.

“One hundred would have been nice,” Bauer said. “But obviously someone else had interest in the property.”

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