Heavenly Mountain auction a no-go
by Kellen Moore
Sperry Van Ness, a real estate advisory company, announced in September that the large tract in eastern Watauga County, including three ornate buildings, would go for auction at a starting bid of $3.9 million.
The buildings are owned by the Maharishi University of Enlightenment and used to house women’s programs in Transcendental Meditation and Vedic studies.
The property includes a 112-suite apartment-style building, a 98-room dormitory and a 13,000-square-foot conference and dining hall.
Tom McMahon, the broker coordinating the auction, said the auction was withdrawn this week due to incomplete negotiations with the Heavenly Mountain homeowners’ association regarding cost-sharing for the private roads that access the property.
He said he believed those negotiations would be completed in two weeks to a month.
“I think we’re going to get this all worked out, it’s just the timing didn’t work out,” McMahon said.
He said the company received inquiries about the property from 50 states and 11 countries and that several parties expressed interest in bidding.
McMahon said that once the agreement is reached, the land probably will not be sold in an auction format. Instead, it may contact prospective buyers to notify them that they may submit bids, or they may negotiate with a single buyer on an offer, he said.
The tract is separate from the 381-acre Forest Summit tract purchased last year by the Art of Living Foundation, which set up the International Center for Peace and Well-Being on the land.
Heavenly Mountain also includes privately owned land, houses and condos associated with neither group.