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Details on the five finalists for historic Auburn mansion
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REAL ESTATE

Details on the five finalists for historic Auburn mansion

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Seymour mansion 1

The Seymour mansion at 113 North St., Auburn. 

I edit The Citizen's features section, Lake Life, and weekly entertainment guide, Go. I've also been writing for The Citizen and auburnpub.com since 2006, covering arts and culture, business, food and drink, and more.

The city of Auburn has narrowed the field of bidders for an historic Auburn mansion from more than 200 to five.

In an email, real estate broker Michael DeRosa said Auburn City Council spent the last two months reviewing proposals to buy the 1861 Victorian mansion at 113 North St. Though DeRosa previously said the city received 135 proposals, he later clarified that some proposals were received after the Dec. 18 submission deadline, pushing the total to 204.

DeRosa is working with the city to market the mansion, which the city acquired through tax foreclosure in June. It listed the mansion for $50,000, but established an in-depth application process to make sure the buyer has a plan for restoring the dilapidated mansion and using it responsibly afterward. Renovation cost, timeline and funding were also considered.

DeRosa said the 204 proposals came from all over the world. The sale of the mansion became a viral story late last year, drawing attention from popular social media accounts, CNN and more. The mansion is commonly called "the Seymour mansion" because of its first resident, banker and philanthropist James S. Seymour, who founded Auburn City (now Community) Hospital and Seymour Library.

"I had to break the news to 199 buyers that their proposals weren't selected as top five finalists, and that wasn't easy," he said in his email. "I wish I had more properties I could offer them."

City council will next hold in-person interviews with the five finalists, then select a winner and present them at a meeting where councilors will vote on the sale of the property. 

Though DeRosa declined to identify the five finalists to protect their privacy, he did share some details about them. Three of the five finalists have ties to Auburn, but don't live in New York. The other two do live in New York, but not Auburn. That would appear to rule out bidder Christine McConnell, the Los Angeles-based model, designer and actress who visited the mansion in December.  

The five finalists proposed the following uses of the mansion: private primary residence, bed and breakfast, multiple dwelling residence, event hall and home business office.

Of the 204 proposals, about 36% proposed using the mansion as a single-family, private primary residence. Another 29% proposed using it as a bed and breakfast. Other proposed uses included art space and studio (5%), nonprofit home (4.5%) and event hall and catering venue (3%).

Proposed timelines of restoration ranged from three months to five years, and proposed costs of renovation ranged from $50,000 to $3 million.

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.

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I edit The Citizen's features section, Lake Life, and weekly entertainment guide, Go. I've also been writing for The Citizen and auburnpub.com since 2006, covering arts and culture, business, food and drink, and more.

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