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Oconomowoc Lake 'trophy property' to be auctioned


This manor-style house on Oconomowoc Lake will be auctioned off Oct. 12.

Senior Reporter- The Business Journal
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The owners of one of the trophy properties on a Waukesha County lake that features the area’s most exclusive lake properties have decided to sell their manor-style house, a guest house and a 19-car motor pavilion via auction.

Paul and Andrea Clarkson have retained Fine & Co. of Chicago to conduct an auction Oct. 12 for their two properties on Oconomowoc Lake’s Sawyer Road. The couple, which has been on the lake a dozen years, is relocating to North Carolina to be near their sons and grandchildren.

Paul Clarkson is a former vice president of sales and marketing for Bradley Corp., Menomonee Falls. Since retiring from Bradley in 1995, he has successfully developed residential properties in Illinois and owns some commercial properties. He also is a collector of classic cars and hot rods, which explains the massive garage.

“I just think it’s the most expeditious way to do anything,” Clarkson told me about the auction. “At this point in life, I can’t sit around and wait.”

Auctioneer Michael Fine told me that residential properties in this category often are auctioned rather than simply listed for sale.

“Pricing is difficult because nothing is exactly like them,” Fine said.

However, during this slow real-estate sales market, more sellers are considering auctions, Fine said.

The larger property with the manor-style main house was assessed at $2.36 million in 2010 and the smaller-home property was assessed at $1.84 million.

The two-story home measures more than 4,700 square feet and has nine rooms. The “guest house” is 3,000 square feet.

Fine said there is no minimum bid, but bidders must provide a cashier’s check with their bid. Bidders for the larger of the two homes must provide a check for $80,000; bidders for the smaller house, $40,000, and bidders for both, $120,000.

Maureen Stapleton, an Oconomowoc-area real estate agent, agreed with Fine and the Clarksons that an auction makes sense for one of the few “estates” like this on Oconomowoc Lake.

“It can be a successful marketing tool to draw attention to a property of this magnitude,” Stapleton said.

Rich Kirchen is The Business Journal's senior reporter. He covers health care, insurance, politics, media and marketing/advertising.

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