The McRae Marketplace in Georgia to be auctioned 7/24 An 80,000-square-foot building in south-central Georgia, currently home to 60+ vendors at The McRae Marketplace antique mall and flea market will be sold at auction on Thursday, July 24, at 10:30 a.m.
AN 80,000-SQUARE-FOOT BUILDING IN McRAE, GEORGIA, HOUSING
A FLEA MARKET-ANTIQUE MALL, TO BE SOLD AT AUCTION JULY 24th
(McRae, Ga.) - An 80,000-square-foot building in south-central Georgia, currently home to a active flea market and antique mall, will be sold at auction on Thursday, July 24, at 10:30 a.m. The one-story building, situated on 4.4 acres and boasting direct access to a divided four-lane highway and over two acres of parking, is located in McRae, a quaint, small town in Georgia's rich agriculture belt.
About 35,000 square feet of the building is now being used for The McRae Marketplace, a combination flea market and antique mall that opened in June 2007. More than 60 vendors have space there, most of them renting 12' x 12' booths (for $75 per month) or 8 ' 8' booths (for $65 per month). The other 45,000 square feet is storage space, but it could be used to accommodate more mall vendors.
“Obviously, the new owners can do whatever they want with the building, but right now it's turnkey as a flea market and antique mall,” said Steve Slocumb of Hudson & Marshall, the Macon, Ga.-based auction house handling the sale. “The property is zoned commercial, and it could be used for any one of a number of good uses, from apparel manufacturing to light industrial to a shipping facility.”
The brick-and-block building was originally used as a sewing plant for Roydon Wear, a maker of women's apparel. In the early 1990s, Wilkins Industries, a women's jeanswear manufacturer, purchased the facility and hired its employees. John Wilkins, the owner, said at the time he liked McRae because of the town's welcoming government, high unemployment rate, convenience of transportation access, the spaciousness of the building itself and, most of all, the area's good people.
But foreign competition and other factors eventually forced him to shut down the business altogether, and the McRae plant sat unoccupied. For a few years, Mr. Wilkins tried to sell the property, figuring another apparel manufacturer would find it attractive. But when that didn't happen, he decided the structure would be perfect as a flea market and antique mall. He went to work to make his vision a reality. Subsequent improvements included new paint inside and out; new roofing over the flea market portion; upgraded bathrooms; handicap access and bathroom; and security and sprinkler systems.
The McRae Marketplace opened a little over a year ago, much to the delight of local residents, who don't even have a Wal-Mart in town, let alone a mall. The business was quickly embraced and became a shopping destination for people in McRae and the surrounding towns of Vidalia, Alamo, Lumber City, Hazelhurst, Eastman and Fitzgerald. It has continued to thrive, despite the fact that no money is spent to market the place. So far, word of mouth has sufficed.
But tragedy struck earlier this year when Mr. Wilkins passed away, leaving the mall in the hands of his