In the wake of a Washington State Superior court judge upholding the Initiative 1183, passed by voters last November to allow privatization of liquor and dismantle the state’s liquor sales system which has been in place since Prohibition in the 1930s, the state has begun an online auction to sell its stores’ rights.
The measure, which goes into effect June 1, allows stores larger than 10,000 square feet to sell liquor; smaller stores could also be allowed to sell liquor if there are no other stores in the area.
Many large retailers in Woodinville have applied for a license to sell liquor (), meanwhile the state licensed store at 13317 Northeast 175th Street, is up for auction online. There are currently 12 bids; the current bid is $3,050. The online auction closes April 20.
Key Components of the Auction (from the state's website)
- The Rights. Successful bidders will reserve exclusive rights to apply for a liquor license at the current location within its current footprint.*
- Minimum Bid. The minimum bid is $1,000 per store.
- Individual store or all-system bid. Two auctions will run simultaneously. Individual store rights are being auctioned as well an opportunity to purchase all store rights in a single all-system bid. The state is charged by law with seeking “maximum reasonable value” for the store rights. Following the auction period, the WSLCB will determine whether to select the individual store bids or a single all-system bid.
- Relocations. Any successful bidder will need to secure a lease with property landlord. If a successful bidder is unable to reach a lease agreement with the landlord, they may re-sell their right to another individual or request an alternate location through the licensing process.
- Inventory. Inventory will be available for optional purchase at a fixed-rate option based on the ending inventory at each location as of May 31, 2012.
Editor's Note: The current bid for the Woodinville store is $3,050, not $3 million.