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Fort Ben home, condos fail to sell at auction

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The former home of the commanding general at Fort Benjamin Harrison and four condominiums at the old Army base failed to sell at an auction.

Reserve bids were not met on any of the homes during the June 17 auction, but the seller continues to work with potential buyers for the general's house and two of the condos, said Mike Couch, an agent with Sycamore Group Realty who has the condos listed.

The condos are among 48 units in three historic buildings redeveloped by VLB & Associates, a development firm owned by Virginia L. Basham, who bought the properties in 1996, shortly after the federal government closed Fort Ben.

The condos are all two- and three-bedroom units and range in size from 2,050 to 2,800 square feet. They had been listed for between $290,000 and $350,000. All but four of the first 32 units that were developed sold before the real estate market collapsed last year.

The house and the condominium buildings are on Lawton Loop, the street in the old Army fort where enlisted men’s barracks were located. The barracks buildings, which were built between 1901 and 1906, have historic details that Basham went to great lengths to preserve as they were converted to condos.

The 8,100-square-foot commanding general’s home had been converted into three apartments before Basham bought it and restored it to its original floor plan in the late 1990s. The three-story, 1903 home was the St. Margaret’s Guild Decorator’s Show Home in 1999. Basham intended to move into it but never did.

It was listed at one time for more than $1 million but was most recently listed at $792,000.

IBJ first reported on the auction in a story on June 8.

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