Link to Story: AJ Willner Auctions sells land in Hackensack for $10 million

Bergen County sold a nearly six-acre property in Hackensack for $10 million Tuesday in an auction that came down to a bid-off between two developers.

The 5.98-acre property covers three lots at 66-70 Zabriskie St. It is zoned for mid- and high-rise multi-family development and located a half-mile from the NJ Transit station in River Edge and a mile from Riverside Square Mall.

This nearly six-acre property in Hackensack sold for $10 million in an auction on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Winning bidder Scott Loventhal of Garden Homes Development said that he plans on turning the property into high-quality, multi-family residences with an emphasis on the nearby transit.

"Our focus primarily is on the transit-oriented multi-family residences," he said after the auction. Whether the property also would include retail, commercial or office space, he said, “is still up in the air.”

It's Loventhal's first property in Hackensack, though Garden Homes Development has properties throughout New Jersey. Recently, the company developed The Residences at Fair Lawn Promenade, which consist of 150 luxury rentals.

According to the rules of the auction, Loventhal had to put down a 10-percent deposit immediately. Though the sale was verbally approved Tuesday, a majority of the county Board of Freeholders must support it at its May 18 meeting. Loventhal then has 10 days to close on the property.

Five registered bidders attended the auction, though the only bids cast were by Loventhal and Daniel Mladenovic, president of DOBCO Group in Wayne. Loventhal cast the first bid, at $2 million, and each bid escalated in $250,000 increments. Once Loventhal bid $10 million, Mladenovic relented.

"I can't spend more than I can," Mladenovic said afterward.

Auctioneer Harry Byrnes of A.J. Willner Auctions said that county officials told him in advance an amount at which they hoped to sell the property. Though Byrnes declined to provide the amount, he said $10 million "exceeded their expectation levels."

"We're very happy with the results of the auction," said county Executive James Tedesco through a spokeswoman.