Historic Rosewell estate fails to find buyer at state auction - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Historic Rosewell estate fails to find buyer at state auction

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Rosewell estate in eastern Jefferson County, which Kentucky bought for the Ohio River Bridges Project, failed to fetch a buyer at an auction Monday.

No bids were submitted for the nearly 6-acre plot by a 1:30 p.m. deadline. The state was seeking at least $1 million for the Greek Revival mansion and a nearby smokehouse on Transylvania Avenue.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet paid $1.6 million for Rosewell in 2005. Officials said they hope to sell the property at a later date.

"We haven't pinpointed what the root cause of the non-sale is at this moment," said Ryan Watts, a cabinet spokesman. "But that's one thing that we'll take a look at."

Rosewell was one of three properties the state purchased -- and has yet to sell -- under historic preservation promises made by Kentucky, Indiana and the federal government as part of the bridges project.

Since buying it, Kentucky has added an easement that gives state preservation officials oversight of some routine work at Rosewell.

Mark McCoy, an official in the cabinet's right-of-way division, said a series of open houses for Rosewell this summer drew an average of 30 to 50 people. Asked if the state may consider lowering its minimum bid, he said, "I think we probably will evaluate all of the components."

Besides Rosewell, Kentucky intends to sell the former Grocers Ice and Cold Storage building on E. Main Street downtown and the Drumanard estate in Prospect. In all, the state has spent $13.5 million to buy those properties.

The Grocers Ice building twice has gone to auction, but no one has offered a bid for it.

Plans call for proceeds from any sales to go to Kentucky's road fund.

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