Local entrepreneurs open second Akron business

Posted January 18, 2018 at 8:13 pm

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By Julie Ann Madden

An auction house.

That is what Akron’s next business will be in the former Dirks Motor Company body shop building at 421 Mill St.

Basil “Roger” and Angela Price, owners of Akron Gold and Silver and the famous Baker Mansion, had the one and only bid on the blue-and-white concrete building, located east of The Lock Shop.

After a public hearing at the Jan. 8 Akron-Westfield School Board meeting, Board Member Jodi Thompson made the motion to sell the property to the Prices and Board Member Nick Mathistad seconded it. The Prices’ bid was $9,000, less than the minimum bid the board had earlier set. The vote was unanimous, 6-0 with Board Member Deb Jordt absent.

“We are excited to have the opportunity,” said Angela. “It’ll be fun to create events that will bring additional traffic to town.”

“It wasn’t something we originally planned but the opportunity arose,” she said, explaining the building’s framework is perfect for an auction house — the clerking area will be up in the front of the building and where the actual body shop was is an open area for the auction items.

First, everything inside and out of the building needs repairs — from tuckpointing the brick exterior to fixing the leaky roof, unclogging the drainage system, and upgrading the antique electrical system, said Angela. “There is a lot of work ahead of us but we will get it fixed up. It’s going to be beautiful.”

Local plumber Steve Carlson will be fixing the heating and plumbing and electrician Steve Wilcox will redo the electrical system.

The Prices plan to have murals of historical Akron photographs painted on the east side of the building and landscaping of flowers with benches will welcome bidders into the Price Auction Company.

“The building is going to look a whole lot better,” said Angela. “It’ll be back on the tax rolls and there will be activities and events bringing people and money to town. It should be fun.”

“The big part is the fun,” she said. “Hopefully we will be able to bring people from hours away, and they will be here in town — able to see the other things we have to offer — the restaurants, Thorson Drug, and the gas stations. It’ll bring more people to town and hopefully more dollars to town to be spent here.”

“Who knows — maybe somebody will come here for an auction, like Akron and maybe they’ll want to open a business here,” said Angela.

“The reason why this is an opportunity for us is we saw it would be good for the town having that additional business here,” she said. “Ninety percent of the stuff people bring to my (Akron Gold and Silver) door, I can’t take because it’s either not old enough or wouldn’t really sell here.”

An example is blonde furniture, she said, explaining blonde furniture is really not an antique but at an auction house it should sell very well.

“So rather than have people taking their merchandise an hour away to some other auction house and that money going up to that town, now it’ll be kept here locally,” said Angela.

The Prices’ plan is to host monthly auctions — the frequency will depend on the amount of merchandise they get.

Four area auctioneers are already lined up to begin the bidding: Hank Krause, Akron; Jessie Holmes, Sioux City; Marv Toering, Orange City; and Bob Wright, Cherokee.

“We hope some of the auctioneers’ regulars will come out to our sales and help support our community,” said Angela.

If all the repairs go as planned, by the middle of February we will be accepting consignment merchandise, she said.

They are targeting Saturday, March 17 — St. Patrick’s Day — for their first auction. It will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“Just two-and-one-half hours because longer than that gets to be too long,” said Angela, “and like any auction house, we will have food served.

The first food vendor will be the Akron Historical Society, a fundraiser for the Akron Area Museum.

For the April auction, Chubs Country Store co-owner Jenell Lanning will provide the food.

How Consigning Works

There will be a two-tier consignment structure for people bringing items to the Price Auction Company.

The structure’s two consignment fees are based on:

1) If people bring items to the auction house, cleaned up, boxed and ready to sell; or

2) If the Prices go to the seller’s property, clean the merchandise and haul it to the auction house.

“If they are somewhere in-between those two, we’ll happily talk to them about that,” said Angela. “So whether they are just trying to downsize or clear a whole estate out, we can help them with that.”

For more information, call the Prices at Akron Gold and Silver — 712-568-GOLD (4653).

“Ultimately I’m not worried about making money at this,” said Angela. “I don’t want to lose money but I believe it’s something that will be good for us and the town.”

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