Amir Karshenas said a company he works with is in the process of closing on this piece of property in the Ovation development in Cool Springs. Karshenas bid $42 million for the property at a foreclosure auction on Friday. / Photo Matt Blois
By MATT BLOIS
On Friday evening, the man who won a foreclosure auction for a large piece of the Ovation property in Cool Springs told Business Williamson in a brief phone call the company he represented was still in the process of closing the deal.
During a phone call around 7:45 p.m. Amir Karshenas said he expected the company would close that night. Creditors, debtors and lawyers involved in the foreclosure of the Ovation property did not return phone calls and emails asking about the sale before the publication of this article.
Williamson County could not yet confirm the sale either. Williamson County Trustee Karen Paris wrote in an email that real estate closing companies usually file a warranty deed in the Register of Deeds office within a few days of a property transfer.
Karshenas entered the winning bid of $42 million for the 34 acre property at the intersection of Carothers Parkway and McEwen Drive during an auction on the steps of the Williamson County courthouse Friday afternoon.
A development company from Georgia operated by Stan Thomas previously owned the land. The company defaulted on a loan earlier this month, sending the property into foreclosure. That company still owns another large piece of the development.
Karshenas told Business Williamson he represented an investor in the Middle East who has financed construction projects in the U.S. and abroad. He wouldn’t reveal the name of the company.
The investor Karshenas represented needed to close the deal before the end of the day, according to the terms of the sale. Otherwise, the property would have gone to the second highest bidder. The creditors foreclosing on the property had the second highest bid of $40.5 million.
The starting bid was $35 million, which is how much Thomas’ company still owed on the loan.
During the auction, Karshenas seemed unfazed by the millions of dollars he was bidding.
“Nice weather today,” he said, after entering a bid of $38.5 million.
He greeted a judge leaving the building after bidding $40 million.
After the auction, Karshenas said he wasn’t exactly sure what would happen to the property. He said it would be something different, possibly like developments in Dubai.
“To be honest with you I don’t know, but I’m going to do something that no one has done. Something nice, unique, that benefits everybody living in that area,” he said.
Following the auction, Karshenas apparently learned an important fact about the property. William Yost, the delinquent tax attorney for Williamson County told him about a tax lien right after the auction.
“Do you know how much?” Karshenas asked.
“Hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Yost said.
“Really? The buyer has to pay those?” Karshenas said. “Even if they sell it for that much?”
“It doesn’t matter. My lien is superior to their rights,” Yost said.
Karshenas told lawyers conducting the auction he was with American Bonding, a bail bonding company based in Nashville. He also told Business Williamson he has done research in medicine at Vanderbilt and is involved with international pharmaceuticals as well as the import and export of equipment and machinery.
In addition, Karshenas said he has frequently earned money by locating valuable properties for investors in the U.S. and abroad. According to county records, he owns a dozen small properties in Davidson County and another in Williamson County.
Karshenas wouldn’t reveal much information about the investor financing the deal. He said it was a company in the Middle East that has purchased land in New York in California. He said the company is involved in construction and is also involved in the oil business.
“This is nothing, $42 million, because I have a big investor behind me. A big one,” he said. “Most of the money is from them. I’m the marketer.”
Karshenas said he didn’t know about the auction until he arrived at the courthouse, and the investor didn’t know about the purchase when bid $42 million at auction.
“I’m going to surprise them,” he said. “It’s not the first time.”
He certainly surprised the onlooker who gathered on the courthouse steps Friday afternoon.