Fiery Gizzard forests on the auction block in Grundy County

Fiery Gizzard forests on the auction block in Grundy County

October 31st, 2013 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

Nearly 3,300 acres in Grundy County will be sold at auction Thursday, Oct. 31. A private land company that bought the undeveloped property three years ago is selling the land near the Grundy Forest State Natural Area in two parcels - one including 1,207 acres and the other including 2,075 acres. J.P King is auctioning the property.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Photo by Laura McNutt/Times Free Press.

If you are going

J.P. King Co. wll auction the property at 1 p.m. today at the Double Tree Hotel in Chattanooga. More information at www.jpking.com

More than 2 square miles of forests near the Fiery Gizzard Trail in Grundy County will go on the auction block today in one of the state's biggest land sales of the year.

Three years after buying the mountainous parcel in Grundy County amid the real estate collapse of the Great Recession, an investment group hopes to sell 3,282 acres today during a bidding contest in Chattanooga. Although property prices along the South Cumberland Plateau have yet to rebound to their pre-recession levels, auctioneer Craig King expects bidders will be eager to buy into the scenic site, located just south of the Grundy Forest State Natural Area.

"It's a great opportunity for a buyer that might be interested in a scenic tract of land," said King, president of the J.P. King Auction Co., the Gadsden, Ala.,-based auction firm that has sold more than $1 billion of property at auctions over the past two decades.

"It's ideal if someone wanted to buy the land for recreation and do some select timber cuttings to help carry the debt load of the property," he said. "With nearly 3,300 acres available, this is a hunk of land where we come from."

The multi-million-dollar auction will sell the property either as a single sale or in two parcels -- one site with 2,075 acres and the other parcel with 1,207 acres.

The site is just west of the Foster Falls Wildlife Area and the Fiery Gizzard trail south of Tracy City, Tenn.

According to a 2010 report by Charles R Page & Associates, the property contains nearly 7 million whole units of saw timber and 10,795 whole units of pulpwood. Stocked with oak and hickory trees, the property also has a potential for carbon offsets, if carbon emissions become restricted and a market for carbon credits emerges.

TEOC, LLC, an investment firm organized in Rome, Ga., is selling the property, subject to getting what the owners deem as an adequate offer today.

King said recreational land is gaining in value this year, but it hasn't come back to pre-recession levels.

"It's still a bit of of buyers market and that's the time to be buying when prices are still favorable," he said.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340