Zo-No-Go: The much-hyped auction of the Zocalo condominiums may have been a bust. Through California-based auction company Kennedy Wilson, developer Don Tishman and partners advertised 24 units at Zocalo with starting bids “as low as $90,000,” a fraction of their original asking price . Only 15 were actually auctioned off and Zocalo agent Hope Stansbury had no information as to how many sold.
Yoga instructor Gregory Sipp approached the auction skeptically, hoping to pick up some investment properties. Sipp tells SFR he made a winning bid of $167,000 on a unit for which the bidding started at $90,000. Five days later, he says, Zocalo made a counter-offer of $280,000, which he rejected as “completely loony tunes”—the unit was previously priced at less than that. “If it wasn’t so funny, I’d take it personally and be insulted,” Sipp says. “I just told my agent to get the [down payment] back—these people are nuts.”
Another attendee, Steve Vollstedt, tells SFR he made a winning bid of $165,000 only to reject Zocalo’s counter-offer of $242,000. “The whole structure of that auction was kinda weird,” Vollstedt says. “No one was told how their bids related to whatever reserve price [the seller] had.” In other words, potential homebuyers never knew what they were up against. Sound familiar?
Not FedEx: Last week, SFR reported on inconsistencies in the New Mexico Department of Public Safety’s story of how it caught a mock “dirty bomb” at the Anthony, NM port of entry. According to FedEx spokesman Jim McCluskey, in the aftermath, FedEx was flooded with concerned calls about why FedEx reportedly let a client ship an unmarked radioactive package.
SFR reported that neither DPS nor the National Nuclear Security Administration (which also was on the scene) reported the incident to FedEx, and thus FedEx was unable to address the problem.
It turns out, it wasn’t FedEx’s problem to address. DPS misidentified the shipping company as FedEx several times in a press release and in interviews with SFR.
“We do what we’re supposed to do, and we do it the right way and adhere to the regulatory requirements for safe transportation for anything including radioactive elements,” McCluskey says.
Lt. Ray Moralez, one of DPS’ Motor Transportation Division police stationed at the Anthony port, confirms the shipper was not FedEx, but rather Land Air Express. Land Air did not return SFR’s calls.
Moralez says the shipment—allegedly sent by a firefighter who trains personnel to scan for dirty bombs—originated in Thailand. As for why FedEx was named by DPS, Moralez says: “I have no clue. I don’t know how our department got that information.”