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County OKs offer for Speedway Business Park tract

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
A Maryland businessman got speedy approval Monday of his offer to buy a 2-acre tract in Speedway Business Park.
“Go build something good. Start tomorrow,” Arnold Chamberlain, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, told Ray Hackett, owner of J&R Supply Co.
Hackett plans to construct a building to support his wholesale janitorial supply business as well as Hackett Racing, which he co-owns with son Ryan Hackett, a driver in Nationwide, ARCA and Dirt Late Model racing.
Hackett, who attended the commissioners’ meeting with his wife, Joan, plans to invest between $1 million and $2 million and hopes to start construction before the end of the year.
In a phone interview following the meeting, Hackett said he’s in the market for more land in the area and has already looked at several houses on High Rock Lake.
Driving up Interstate 85 one day, he spotted the business park and made inquires. He sees it as a perfect fit for his business and the family racing enterprise.
“Everybody has said for years if we wanted to do this type of racing, we needed to be in the Mooresville-Charlotte area,” Hackett said. “This makes sense for us.”
A nationwide business, Hackett’s J&R Supply has 33 warehouses across the country. His business includes janitorial, restaurant and maintenance supplies. His Web site is jandrsupply.com.
Hackett submitted an offer of $56,500 for the business park site, the asking price set by the county.
Jeanie Moore, chairwoman of the Rowan-Salisbury Economic Development Commission, and several of the organization’s members accompanied Hackett to the meeting.
Unlike other offers for property in the county-owned park off Peach Orchard Road, the Hackett offer went through the Economic Development Commission. That allows for approval of the sale without the customary 10-day upset bid process.
Commissioner Jim Sides took exception to the procedure, saying he would prefer the upset bid process to see if anyone wanted to bid higher.
But Sides made clear his position had nothing to do with Hackett.
“Mr. Hackett, I’m certainly glad you are interested. I want you to have it,” Sides said. “I’m not voting against you.”
Hackett gave Sides a thumbs up and a smile indicating he understood.
Sides said the estimated fair market value is between $56,000 and $65,000, and the upset bid process could have established the true market value.
Vice Chairman Chad Mitchell said he didn’t want to delay Hackett’s plans and moved to approve the sale.
Commissioner Jon Barber recalled that commissioners rejected an offer on the same lot 17 months ago, increasing the price after a potential buyer had offered the listed price. Barber said that is one vote he would like to take back.
Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the sale, with Sides casting the lone opposing vote.

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