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Ruger estate in Newport set to be auctioned

  • The late William Ruger Jr.'s 110-acre estate in Newport, N.H., will be sold at auction without reserve on Sept. 7, 2019. It was previously on the market for $3.75 million. (Courtesy Platinum Luxury Auctions)

  • The late William Ruger Jr.'s 110-acre estate in Newport, N.H., will be sold at auction without reserve on Sept. 7, 2019. It was previously on the market for $3.75 million. (Courtesy Platinum Luxury Auctions)



Valley News Correspondent
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

NEWPORT — After several years on the market without a sale, the North Newport estate of the late William Ruger Jr. will be sold to the highest bidder next month.

The property at the corner of Croydon Brook and Corbin roads includes a single-family residence and several other buildings on about 90 acres with two other smaller, contiguous parcels included.

The house was constructed in 1880 by Austin Corbin, who made his fortune in railroad and real estate and is perhaps best known locally for founding the nearby 25,000-acre Corbin Park hunting preserve in the late 1880s.

Realtor Andrew Peterson, vice president and co-owner of The Peterson, Inc., in Peterborough, N.H., listed the property this year.

“They (the family) want to get the Newport property and the one in Maine sold this year,” Peterson said when asked about the decision to resort to an auction. “We have featured them in The Wall Street Journal and other major publications. This is being done quite aggressively.”

The initial real estate listing was for the residence and buildings with 500 undeveloped acres for $3.7 million. Peterson said the family later reduced it to $2.5 million for the home, buildings and 100 acres.

“It was decided by the heirs they wanted a ready sale and not continue to carry the property and the maintenance costs,” Peterson said. “No one (of the heirs) wants to live there. It is not an unreasonable way to go to get a sale done in a relatively short period of time.”

Since the auction listing became public, Peterson said, there has been a fair amount of interest from potential buyers, who can visit the property for a tour.

“More than a dozen have come by for a tour the last couple of weeks,” Peterson said.

The auction firm Platinum Luxury Auctions, of Miami, states there is a total of 110 acres on three contiguous parcels with a 7,500-square-foot main residence and several smaller buildings including a caretaker’s residence, a barn and workshop.

Ilissa Knisley, marketing director with Platinum, said Wednesday potential buyers have to be pre-registered.

“Because there is an upfront financial commitment, buyers usually don’t register right up until the deadline (which is Sept. 6 at 5 p.m.,)” Knisley said.

Terms include a $50,000 cashier’s check to bid and payment of 10% of the winning bid at the close of the auction. Ruger purchased the property in 1988 for $135,000, according to Newport’s assessing records. After he purchased the property, Ruger spent millions renovating and improving the buildings.

The current assessment of both land and buildings on the main parcel is $941,000.

“Today it has historic appeal and true historic integrity,” Peterson said.

James Smith of Platinum is the project manager for the Newport auction.

“We are pushing this along for a quick sale,” Smith said Wednesday. “We have a large marketing campaign, and that tends to drum up more interest.”

Smith noted the auction will not be held on-site and is open only to registered bidders.

Also being auctioned the same day, two hours earlier, is Ruger’s Bar Harbor, Maine, property called East of Eden. It includes a 15,000-square-foot home and about 1,000 feet of waterfront.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.