Winning bidders for the rights to 18 state liquor stores have reneged on their offers for the stores, triggering a second auction for those locations.
Among those is a Federal Way man, Ramesh Rabadia, who bid a record $750,000 for a state store near South 72nd and Pacific Avenue.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board announced Wednesday that it will hold the second auction at 9 a.m. May 24 at the Liquor Control Board distribution center in Seattle, 4401 East Marginal Way. Deposits for the new auction are $10,000.
Bidders in that auction, like those in an auction in April for all 167 of the state’s liquor stores, will bid for the exclusive right to seek a license for that former state store location or nearby if the landlord and the new tenant can’t reach lease terms.
The state will get out of the liquor business May 31. A favorable public vote last year on Initiative 1183 is opening up liquor sales and distribution to private business beginning June 1.
The new law limits liquor stores to a minimum of 10,000 square feet of floor space, except in the case of the former state stores.
Bidders who didn’t carry through with their purchases in the earlier auction lost their $1,000 deposits, the state said.
In addition to the Tacoma store on Pacific Avenue, bidders for a store in Tacoma on South 23rd and a store in Lakewood on Steilacoom Boulevard also did not pay their posted bids.
So far the state has received $25.9 million for 149 former state-run liquor stores sold at auction. The state expects to raise more than $31 million when all former state stores are sold.
The highest bidder in the last auction, Rabadia said soon after the auction that the bidding for the Pacific Avenue store got out of hand. He didn’t return a phone call Wednesday seeking comment on his failure to carry through with his prior purchase. However, state officials said Rabadia also did not pay on his other winning bid, $141,000 for the Kent Panther Lake store. That store also now faces firstname.lastname@example.org