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Financing rates for West End Plaza come in lower than expected

County government’s financing rates for a West End Plaza loan came in lower than expected and lower overall than proposals received in 2014.

Rowan County government’s finance department on Monday opened the four total submissions for a $3.95 million loan to pay for the purchase price and renovations at West End Plaza, formerly the Salisbury Mall. Two proposals were mailed in and two were emailed. A submission from Carlyle Capital Markets sent a letter saying it chose not to offer a financing rate for the West End Plaza loan, but wanted to remain on the county’s bidders list.

The proposal with the lowest financing rates came from First Bank, which has offices in the Carolinas and Virginia. First Bank submitted a proposal with a tax exempt rate of 1.7 percent and a taxable rate of 2.5 percent.

The rates are split because the tax exempt portion is an estimate that reflects the portion of space Rowan County plans to use for government services, such as the Board of Elections and Veterans Services.

When Rowan County submitted its loan proposal for West End Plaza in 2014, rates were 2.51 percent for the tax exempt amount and 3.27 for the taxable amount. The rates would’ve resulted in $609,057 of additional cost.

Finance Director Leslie Heidrick on Monday said the finance department would have to look through each of the proposals submitted before suggesting one to the county’s board of commissioners. However, Heidrick said the First Bank offer seemed like the most attractive offer.

Other submissions for the West End Plaza loan included Capital One, which had a taxable rate of 3.94 percent and an exempt rate of 2.55 percent, and BB&T, which had a taxable rate of 3.14 percent and exempt rate of 2.43 percent.

Once a financing proposal is chosen, the county will submit its West End Plaza loan to the Local Government Commission — a municipal and county financial regulatory agency. The state agency is expected to consider the county’s loan in May.

A public hearing on the county’s loan is scheduled for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners April 6 meeting, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. at 130 West Innes Street.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

 

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