Regal Auction Services to hold first sale in new Penacook location next week

  • Regal Auction Services floor manager Matt Adams lifts up a piece of Brazilian cherry from the floor of the former Beede Electrical Instruments building in Penacook on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Regal Auction Services co-owner Beth Morrissette stands alongside some of the items that will be up for auction March 30 at the former Beede Electric Instruments building in Penacook. Morrissette said they’ve been moving items into the building for several weeks. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Regal Auction cabinet workers Bruce McDonald (left) and Ben Girtman stack cabinets that will be auctioned off on Saturday, March 30, at the old Beede Electrical in Penacook on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Appliances from the Nashua Sears store that recently closed are at the Regal Auction floor at the old Beede Electrical on Tuesday, March 16, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 3/19/2019 5:10:57 PM

If you’re looking for hardwood floors made from Brazilian cherry, a brand-new stove or a government-made generator, you might want to head to the old Beede Electrical Instruments building next weekend.

After more than 30 years of business, Regal Auction Services is moving from Franklin to Penacook, and their first construction material sale is slated for Saturday, March 30. Their new home is the Beede building, which has been a heartache for Penacook ever since the company was bought from Walter Pelletier in 2014 by a Connecticut businessman, and eventually left the village altogether.

The company has been moving in for several weeks, said co-owner Beth Morrissette. The floor looks like a contractor’s dream – everything from 18-piece kitchen cabinets to new washers and driers salvaged from closing Sears stores, flooring screws and hundreds of square feet of hardwood flooring, heating systems and doors, all laid out across 20,000 square feet of space.

The space was perfect for Regal, said auctioneer and sales manager Paul Morrissette. The auctions used to be held in the old mill buildings at 20 Canal St., in Franklin, until developer Eric Chinburg purchased the property in 2017. Morrissette said they had a short window of time to find space.

“Because we’re an auction company, we need a whole lot of space,” Morrissette said, “and we looked everywhere from here to Timbuktu to find it.”

The old Beede building was perfect, he said, because of its wide-open space and access to a loading dock.

The building certainly needs some work, he said. The roof has several leaks and the plumbing needs to be redone, among other issues, but Morrissette said he has put “a bunch of money” into addressing some of the problems and making the space useable for the auctions.

But the building “really isn’t in that bad shape” Morrissette said, and he hopes it will be the start of something new for the Beede building.

In its heyday, the company employed 700 people at three locations, in Penacook, Northfield and Belmont. The company was founded by Walter E. Beede in Penacook in 1917. In the early days, it sold meters that tested the batteries in radios and automobiles. Beede sold the company, but then re-assumed control in 1929 after the stock market crash which financially crippled the new owners.

For most of its history, the company made meters for engines, including tachometers, voltmeters, speedometers and combination meters.

The 88 Village St. property – 8.9 acres and a 60,000 square foot factory – has been steadily dropping in valuation since Beede’s sale. In 2013, the building was worth $2.56 million. Now it’s worth about $510,000, according to city assessing data. Regal is leasing space in the building, which is still owned by Beede Electrical Instrument Co. Inc., a holding company with several owners.

Those interested in the upcoming auction can get a preview of the goods next Thursday and Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday.

After 11 a.m. Saturday, the sale starts, and latecomers beware. After 30 years, Morrissette’s got the rapid-fire style of auctioneering speak down to a science. Beth Morrissette said that she figures her husband can sell about 120 lots – each item being considered a “lot” – in an hour.

Their auction floor manager, Matt Adams, estimated it will take about five hours to sell the whole place out.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)

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