The building that would have been Compass Academy will be auctioned off later this month with an opening bid of $500,000, a Greenville-based real estate marketing firm announced on Wednesday.


Compass Academy will be auctioned on-site on Oct. 26 at 11 a.m., according to Dan Bracken, broker in charge for Leonardi Bracken Real Estate.


Bracken was selected by court-appointed receiver Sherri Lydon to sell the 53,000-square-foot facility on Toolebeck Road, which is about 70 percent complete. The property had been on the market for $1.5 million.


“The $500,000 opening bid should attract interest,” Bracken said. “It is rare to find an opportunity to purchase a 53,000-square-foot building, of this caliber, in this price range. They paid $300,000 to purchase the land, and then spent another $4.5 million in construction costs.”


Bracken said the building's design makes it “flexible” for a number of different uses.


“With some modification, it would be ideal for an assisted living facility, church or possibly a meeting center,” he said. “We believe the low opening bid will attract a broad spectrum of bidders with varying ideas for the use of the building.”


Lydon, a Columbia-based attorney, was selected as the receiver of all frozen assets belonging to Compass Academy, Jay Brooks, his wife Tracy Brooks and related companies. Jay Brooks and his companies, J. Brooks Financial and Brooks Real Estate Holdings, are accused by the state Attorney General's office of illegally selling unregistered securities to fund the establishment of Compass Academy.


The Brookses have also been accused by the Securities Division of the Attorney General's office of using those funds to buy groceries, their home, vacations and jewelry, rather than investing the funds as promised. Brooks himself faces multiple civil lawsuits.


Interested parties can learn more about the auction and property by visiting www.chooseauction.com or by calling Bracken at 800-576-7653.


Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.