Former Cleveland dairy farm likely to become a farm again

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Frank DeLoache
CLEVELAND ó A former west Rowan dairy could be a farm again.
A group of Rowan County investors has sold 229 acres on Third Creek Church Road to a Mooresville farmer for $1,525,000, according to Rowan County property records and the manager of the investment group.
The farmer, Donald R. Bonds, of 276 Greenbay Road, reportedly feels pressured by development in the fast growing Mooresville area and plans to move his operation to the land near Cleveland.
Bonds was out of town Friday and couldn’t be reached for comment.
The investment group, Silo Hill Associates LLC, is named after the silo that remains on the land, and Bonds has talked of renovating and using the silo again, according to Randy Reamer, a Salisbury attorney who is also the managing investor for Silo Hill Associates.
“The buyers are nice people, Reamer said. “They owned a farm in Mooresville, … and they were looking for a farm. That’s what their intention is.”
According to records on file with the N.C. Secretary of State’s office, the principals in Silo Hill Associates are Reamer, Marcia Reamer and David Wood, all of Salisbury, and James K. Steele, of Cleveland.
Reamer said the principals bought the land as an investment in 1998 and have held onto it, expecting eventually to develop the land.
The group and the town of Cleveland had disagreed about future development of a subdivision on the land, and the group sued the town. Reamer said the suit was settled with an agreement that would have permitted houses on the land.
The group already developed the Silo Hill manufactured home community on 50 acres of adjoining land, Reamer said. That community is about two-thirds built out now, he added.
Then, Bonds’ offer came along for a large part of the remaining land, and the group accepted.
Members of the investment group “felt like we got a fair minimum price” for the land, Reamer said this week. “We paid the bank, and we’re happy to get the bank off our backs.”
According to county property records, the 229 acres has an assessed value of $1,058,519, and the building on the land is assessed at $6,440.
The investment group also retains about 60 acres of land, which it expects to sell to others, Reamer said.
Malcolm Blankeship III and Benjamin H. Blankenship are among the principals in Silo Hill Associates, which recently sold 229 acres of land in the Cleveland area.