County drops out as mall price skyrockets to $4.33 million

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Mall sold to a yet unknown online bidder for $4.33 million, according to

One thing’s for sure, it isn’t the county.

Rowan County Manager Gary Page said commissioners gave him a “conservative number” that he could not exceed in the bid war. That amount was less than $3.75 million, but Page said he could not confirm the exact bid ceiling at this point.

An online auction for the mall was expected to end about 12:30 p.m. but extended bids grew the time period to about 2 p.m.

Page said he did bid on the property, but recent bids were too rich for the county’s blood.

“My board authorized me a conservative number that we thought we can purchase it for and retro-fit it and it would be a very good deal,” Page said.

But as the bidding war continued, Page said, the bid amount exceeded the price he was authorized to pay.

“I guess the good is that somebody out there wants it,” Page said, “which means that they have an intent to use it and it’ll stay on the tax books and they’ll continue to pay taxes.”

Page said he’s also glad the county did their “due diligence” and tried to get the property at a low cost.

Still, Page said, the county could be back in the running if the bid winner doesn’t pay the required 10 percent earnest money within a 24-hour period.

“If, whoever the high bidder right now, fails to write the money to the escrow account,” Page said, “and is determined to not be a valid bid, we could be back in it. Short of that, this is probably over.”

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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