Municipal Property Auction Eyed ByCUs

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LAKELAND, Fla. - (11/09/05) -- A surplus branch put up for auctionby the municipal electric company has created a bidding contest bytwo interested credit unions. Community First CU, based in nearbyMulberry, and GTE FCU, based in Tampa, have each submitted bids forthe 27,000 square-foot property and building. Community First CU'sbid: $576,000. GTE FCU's bid: $575,000. Community First, with about$82 million in assets, said it couldn't afford to enter a biddingwar with the much-larger GTE FCU, with $1.8 billion, and promisedto close the deal within 30 days, which could earn the city as muchas $3,400 in additional property taxes. The Lakeland CityCommission, which owns the property, was weighing that againstGTE's offer, which included a pledge to close in 60 days. Aspokesman for the city commission told The Credit Union JournalTuesday the panel plans to solicit new bids from the two creditunions.

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