January 17, 2003

From shipyard to auto lot
Quincy. Mass., auto dealer Daniel Quirk was the surprise winner yesterday in the government auction for the Fore River Shipyard, purchasing the 130-acre property for $9 million, reports the Boston Globe.

The paper reports that Quirk, one of the five largest-volume auto retailers in Massachusetts, said he didn't expect to win -- and he's not entirely sure what he's going to do with the historic site on the Quincy waterfront.

Quirk was a last-minute entry in the auction, says the newspaper. Three other bidders had long since qualified to bid at the foreclosure auction, held by the US Maritime Administration. But Wednesday, as a noon deadline approached, Quirk and two others registered to participate.

Initially, Quirk reportedly will relocate his Quincy Auto Auction to the shipyard, and use the property to store new cars. Quirk reportedly also hopes to find a partner who would use the shipyard's deep-water port, and planned to develop others parts of the site for "mixed-use, industrial and retail."

The former General Dynamics yard was mothballed from1986 until1996, when the federal government approved loan guarantees that enabled Greek entrepreneur Sotiris Emmanuel to attempt to reopen the yard under the name Massachusetts Heavy Industries. The venture didn't succeed and filed for bankruptcy in 2000

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