published Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Cleveland's Hardwick Field going to auction

The property formerly known as Hardwick Field, Cleveland's oldest airport, goes up for auction on June 5.
The property formerly known as Hardwick Field, Cleveland's oldest airport, goes up for auction on June 5.
Photo by Paul Leach.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Live auction of Hardwick Field property

WHEN: Thursday at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Hardwick Field, 405 Airport Road, Cleveland, TN 37312

For more information, call Dempsey Auction Co. at 1-800-336-7739 or visit http://www.dempseyauction.com/.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The 62.54 acres of property formerly known as Hardwick Field, Cleveland's oldest airport, is going up for auction Thursday.

On Friday, the Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority received news that solid interest has been generated in the property sale by Dempsey Auction Co.

Dempsey officials said they have received an "excellent response" to literature and email sent to promote the auction, said Verrill Norwood, chairman of the airport panel.

"They are looking very optimistic," Norwood said. "I'm kind of in the middle."

The property will be sold as six tracts, in combinations or as a whole, according to the Dempsey Auction website.

Five of the tracts are hangar plots, which account for nearly 5.3 acres total and will be auctioned first, Norwood said. The balance -- 57.24 acres -- will be auctioned last as one piece of property.

The only building included in the property sale is the main airport hangar, according to the terms of the auction. All other hangars will need to be moved within 60 days if not purchased by the current owners of those structures.

Norwood said the auction will take place in or near the former airport's maintenance facility.

Although the Federal Aviation Administration has given approval for the sale of the property, permission to close on the property's sale has not been approved, he said.

In an earlier meeting, airport officials said they hoped they would receive at least $1.785 million for the property, plus an additional 10 percent to cover auction commissions.

"I'll be very happy [when it is sold]," City Manager Janice Casteel said.

People wishing to inspect the property beforehand will be allowed to visit the site on Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. by appointment with Dempsey Auction Co.

Hardwick Field, established near North Lee Highway in 1955, has been closed since Dec. 31.

Operations at the airfield began scaling back once the Cleveland Regional Jetport on Dry Valley Road opened in January 2013.

Visiting air traffic has not been allowed to land at the airport since that time, and night operations ended last July.

The few remaining pilots and aircraft based at Hardwick Field transitioned to new homes in December, said Mark Fidler, director of operations at the Cleveland Regional Jetport.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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