Developer halts auction of 236 Suffolk properties due to low bidder turnout

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Robert Toussie, one of the owners of the largest amount of private land on Long Island, abruptly halted the second day of auctioning off 236 of his parcels in Babylon, Brookhaven, East Hampton, Huntington, Islip and Southampton, Newsday reported. About 360 people registered to attend the two-day event at the Hyatt Regency Long Island in Hauppauge. About 50 people showed up to the first day and Toussie called the whole thing off the next day when, after a couple hours, only about 30 people showed. The starting bids on his portfolio ranged from $6.5 million down to $7,000 and Toussie expected to rake in $33 million. His attorney, Larry Davis, declined to say how much the developer ultimately earned from the auction. About 75 percent of the parcels are zoned for residential use, with the rest designated for commercial purposes, said Toussie, who’d amassed the portfolio by often being the highest bidder at Suffolk County surplus land auctions for the past 50 years.  The developer said his aim in the auction is to spur development across Long Island. Toussie said would-be bidders were reluctant to raise their numbers because the properties were a bit risky. “We’re not selling ‘subject to permits,’” he said. “People are afraid they might not be able to get permits to build on the land. So, going forward, this is something to consider.” He may try to again offload the properties in an online auction, he said. [Newsday]