Greg’s Sunoco was auctioned off for $1 million last week in bidding conducted by Ron Gilligan Auctioneering for the state Attorney General’s Office.
It was not immediately known, however, who the winning bidder was and what the new owner plans to do with the property.
Sadie Martin, an assistant press secretary for the Attorney General’s Office, said the bidder was not legally obligated to submit his or her name last week. The money, she said, will be split between the attorney general’s and district attorney’s offices for drug asset forfeiture, which will be broken down into funding for drug law enforcement, witness relocation and community drug programs.
“Sometime within the next 45 days they have to give us whatever name they want us to put into the property,” Martin said.
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The gas station, located at 605 University Drive, closed last year and came under physical custody of the Attorney General’s Office on Jan. 5. A state Supreme Court decision in November and entered in the Centre County Prothonotary’s Office on Dec. 11 put the gas station in the possession of the commonwealth after a lengthy legal battle, according to the ruling from the court.
The station was owned by Greg Palazzari, 58, who was arrested on cocaine trafficking charges in 2009. He pleaded guilty to those charges in 2010 before Judge David E. Grine and is now serving a five- to 10-year prison sentence at the state prison in Camp Hill, according to court documents.
Gilligan said 16 people registered for the auction and a half-dozen bid on the property and its 1,950-square-foot building. The property featured a three-bay garage and five gas pumps under a canopy.
Bidding started at $350,000 and was raised by $25,000 increments until it hit $975,000.
“The bids then got to $985,000, then $995,000 and then someone brought it out to $1 million,” Gilligan said.
He also did not know who the winning bidder was, but did say the bidder is from Montoursville.
The winning bidder had to put 10 percent, $100,000, down on the property Thursday and has 45 days to close. The bidder also paid 5 percent of the bid, $50,000, to the auction company.
“I thought the property would bring in between $500,000 and $1 million,” Gilligan said. “I was hoping it’d bring in $1 million when it got closer. It’s more fun to say $1 million than $995,000.”