The 112-year-old Caples Building is being put up for auction in late February after almost two years on the real estate market failed to bring a new owner for the historic Downtown property.
The vacant, seven-story office building is one of several historic, prominent and dilapidated Downtown buildings sold in El Paso businessman William “Billy” Abraham’s federal court bankruptcy auction in late 2018.
Sy Dardashty, a Los Angeles businessman, bought the building for $1.1 million in the bankruptcy auction, but decided in 2020 to sell it.
It’s located at 300 E. San Antonio Ave., on a block with several other empty buildings, including the former J.C. Penney store.
The upcoming online auction through Ten-X Commercial, a California real estate company, is being done to give the property national exposure and attract more potential buyers, said Sergio Tinajero, an El Paso commercial Realtor for KW Commercial in El Paso and listing agent for the Caples Building.
The minimum starting bid is $700,000, and bidders must be prequalified to take part in the online auction, set for Feb. 28-March 2, Tinajero said. The seller can reject the bids if none meet a certain, undisclosed “reserve price,” he said.
“We showed the building many times” to potential buyers who were looking at different uses for the building, including offices, residential units and storage, Tinajero said.
Purchase offers of a little more than $2 million were received, but were not acceptable to the owner, he said.
The building is appraised for tax purposes at $1.08 million by the El Paso Central Appraisal District.
Dardashty in 2020 abandoned plans to turn the building into apartments and condos, with retail space on the ground floor. His real estate development company spent more than $100,000 to clean and gut the inside of the building, a company official previously told the El Paso Times.
The building needs a complete restoration, Tinajero said.