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ATLANTA -- There was standing room only at seminars in Atlanta, Tallahassee, Fla. and New Orleans this week as hundreds of eager retailers looked to learn how to buy stores offered bankrupt Swifty Serve Corp.
The seminars were hosted by National Real Estate Clearinghouse (NRC), the Chapter 11 trustee appointed to oversee Swifty Serve's liquidation. NRC is coordinating the disposition of more than 500 stores owned by Swifty Serve. The stores, located primarily in the southeastern part of the United States, will be sold through a sealed bid sale in a "buy one, some or all" format on Dec. 12.
NRC fielded a wide range of questions regarding leases, environmental and bidding procedures in the two-hour seminars.
"The meeting room was set for 450 seats, but the prospective bidders kept coming," Mike Bohnert, executive vice president of NRC, told CSNews Online in an exclusive interview. "We estimated well over 700 people packed the room, and the hotel parking lot was turning away cars."
Swifty Serve operated stores in 12 states under a variety of names including Country Cupboard, EZ Serve, Swifty Mart, Crown, Pepco, Dixie, TownStar, and Camp. Gas brands include BP, Chevron, Citgo, Exxon and Shell. The company ceased operations and all stores were closed after the bankruptcy filing on Oct. 4. Former convenience store properties will be open for inspection, with the exception of kiosks, Dec. 3-4. Due to the large number of sites, locations will be open for one hour each on each date. No other inspection times are available.
"I spoke with a number of very serious buyers interested in purchasing 20-50 stores as well as dozens of bidders for single sites. We are expecting spirited bidding on the Dec. 12," said Evan Gladstone, NRC's managing director.
National Real Estate Clearinghouse specializes in the accelerated sale of petroleum industry property and commercial real estate throughout the US, Mexico and Canada and has sold more than 8,000 properties since its inception in 1989.
A list of all the stores for sale is available by calling (877) 554-9584 or on online at www.nrcBid.com/207. Color sales brochures, along with due diligence packages that contain detailed information about the stores, are now available for order from NRC at 1-800-747-3342 ext. 207 at a cost of $35 per book plus shipping.