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Commissioners OK discussion on mall purchase

SALISBURY — County commissioners voted 4-1 to give County Manager Gary Page the go-ahead on continued talks for the Salisbury Mall.
County leaders met in closed session during Monday’s commission meeting to hear updates on the discussion regarding the mall negotiations.
After the meeting, Page told the Post the mall owners quoted a price to the county and the county countered with a proposal before the talks stalled.
“We’re somewhat at a standstill,” Page said, noting that commissioners also voted to give the mall owners 15 days to decide on a new offer.
“They authorized me to increase our offer and that they put a 15-day limit on if they would accept or decline,” Page said.
Commissioner Jon Barber, who has been against the initiative, voted against the measure.
The county competed in an online auction for the Jake Alexander Boulevard mall, a 320,000-square-foot facility, in September.
County leaders said they thought the winning bid was settled when the price jumped to $4.33 million, but commissioners later said they thought the owners were participating in the auction to drive the price up.
The county has been in talks with the owners in recent weeks to purchase the property.
Page said the county limited the owners to 15 days because the county wants to move the elections department into an empty Mahaley Avenue building if the negotiations fall through.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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