Bondholders in parking garages surrounding the Town Center Mall in downtown Charleston are trying to cut their losses.

Parking at Charleston Town Center Mall. (Photo/MetroNews)

The trustee and bondholders on the garages submitted the apparent high bids on two of the three garages up for public auction Thursday.

One of the garages went for $800,000 and a second for $600,000.

Auctioneer Joe R. Pyle said it’s not unusual for bondholders to offer a credit bid on property on which they are owed money.

“The trustee makes the decision whether it’s the logical thing to do. They make their decision based off of the value of something. A credit bid is established,” Pyle said.

It’s believed the bondholders are owed about $10 million on the garages.

The bidder representing the trustee and the bondholders had no comment.

The third garage, which is between the Charleston Marriott and Embassy Suites, went to a separate bidder for $800,000. Unconfirmed reports said a bidder representing the Marriott submitted the high bid.

None of the bids are final until a judge signs off on them. The properties have been in receivership.


There were only a few bidders Thursday. Pyle said they knew going in the numbers would probably be down.

The future home of the Capital Sports Center in downtown Charleston. (Photo/MetroNews)

“There’s not a lot of operators of this type of business,” Pyle told MetroNews. “We talked to people from Richmond, Roanoke, Columbus, Cincinnati and Louisville, just trying to find an operator of a parking garage.”

Pyle predicts the demand for the garages and their 4,000 parking spaces will increase with the planned construction of the Capital Sports Center.

“Right now, the demand for these garages is not real high but we see a lot of things happening here in the city that will make them a lot higher soon. It’s timing,” Pyle said.

Until then, the upkeep of the garages, originally built in the mid-1980s, won’t be cheap.

“It’s a lot of maintenance, holding costs, it’s a project,” Pyle said. “It’s not like buying a building that you have to paint and do some reconditioning inside, this is day-to-day maintenance.”

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