Flowers Foods Inc. is wading through the government paperwork to buy Hostess Inc.’s bread-related assets, including the Merita bakery building near Railroad Park.

But what you may not know is that another Hostess Inc. asset, almost 4.5 acres worth, is also up for sale next to the bakery.

Hostess’ bankruptcy court judge has authorized Illinois-based Hilco Real Estate LLC to sell the entire 1200 block of First Avenue South, which abuts the railway running parallel to Railroad Park, and the quarter-block on First Avenue and across 13th Street South next to the Merita bakery.

According to the Jefferson County Tax Assessor’s Office, the combined appraised values of the properties is about $2 million.

Hilco has tapped Sonny Culp of Graham & Co. LLC as its local broker, and has set a deadline of June 12 for sealed bids on the property, which was used for support operations for the bakery.

“It’s a unique opportunity given all of the acquisition investment that has occurred and will occur in the area,” Culp said.

The property is a block away from both Railroad Park and the new Birmingham Barons ballpark, Regions Field, and has already drawn interest from developers.

The challenge for buyers will be the timing. Real estate investors typically build up investment funds over time with a tenant already committed, he said. But in this case, there’s not that kind of time available.

“This is going to be a more investment-driven operation,” he said.

But, despite that challenge, he said the dividends could be big. The court-ordered sale will likely be at a discount, and the property will become more valuable as the area continues to see development.

“With all the development coming into the area, you’d think the (property) values are going to go up,” Culp said.

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