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DUBUQUE, Iowa -- After 99 years, the Iowa Oil Co. (IOCO) will close its last c-stores and related facilities in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. Twelve c-stores, two bulk plants and two office buildings will be auctioned on May 26 at 2 p.m., according to a company release.
Once brimming with forty-one stores, IOCO struggled to finance changes pushed by state and federal tank regulations. After two unsuccessful attempts to sell off large groups of their holdings to stay afloat, the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
"While it's sad to see a long-standing part of the Dubuque community disappear, we're excited to offer such a wide variety of facilities to the public," said Vance Luksetich, a marketing specialist for Tranzon, the national firm hired to conduct the auction. "Many of these are operating, income-producing investments not often available in this area."
Brian Enke, IOCO vice president, added, "The gas stations will probably go in 'onesees' and 'twosees' to be mom-and-pop operations." Enke, a second-generation executive at IOCO and a third-generation part of the petroleum industry, sees development potential in the historic headquarters building, too. "The harbor office building right there on the water would make one hell of a restaurant," he said.
Between the national marketing campaign and some good locations to sell, Tranzon national team member Kim Hagen expects a good crowd of bidders. "It's not often a buying opportunity like this comes along. We're anticipating significant demand and competitive bidding," said Hagen.
Sealed bids will be accepted until 4 p.m., May 21. The live auction will conducted at the Holiday Inn Dubuque.