Commissioners may give auctioning old buildings a try

Published 12:05 am Sunday, April 3, 2016

By Josh Bergeron

Rowan County may be out of luck in its efforts to sell two former office buildings and a house in Spencer.

County Commissioners on Monday will consider auctioning off three properties assessed at a combined value of more than $2.1 million. The assessed value, however, has been questioned by commissioners. Only one offer has been made on any of the three buildings. That offer — $300,000 for a facility at 1236 West Innes Street — fell through before paperwork could be finalized.

Now, the county’s real estate agent for the three properties has recommended trying to sell the buildings at an auction. The properties include: an office building at 1236 West Innes St. that previously housed a division of Social Services, another office building at 165 Mahaley Ave. that also housed a division of Social Services and a house at 418 South Carolina Ave. in Spencer.

Commissioners will consider the recommendation during their regularly scheduled 3 p.m. meeting at the Rowan County Administration Building — 130 West Innes Street in Salisbury.

R. Giles Moss, retained by commissioners to market the properties, writes in a letter to commissioners that all of the locations have been shown to interested parties multiple times. The West Innes Building, for example, has been shown to nine potential buyers and several church groups. The Mahaley Avenue building has been shown “many times,” including seven times to one group. The house in Spencer has also been shown several times.

All three of the buildings have problems — a potential reason an auction would be more attractive — Moss writes.

“An auction forces interested parties to make a decision and place their bid on a given day and time,” his letter states. “Our auction purchase agreement states that the property is sold ‘as is,’ ‘where is’ with no contingencies for financing or inspections.”

Moss said the West Innes building contains some mold and mildew. However, an unnamed developer submitted plans for apartments in the building to the county’s Planning Department.

The Mahaley Avenue building has also seen notable interest, but Moss says the roof leaks. Mold and mildew can also be found in the building, he said.

The only problem noted about the Spencer house is an undesirable neighbor. Moss says a neighbor “turns off potential buyers after we leave.”

R. Giles Moss Auction and Real Estate of Rockwell was retained by Rowan County about a year ago to sell the three properties.

In his letter, Moss says the down payment for an auction sale would be non-refundable. If sold, closing would be in 45 to 60 days.

In other business on Monday’s agenda:

• County Commissioners are scheduled to reconsider a request for a solar farm near the Rowan County Airport.

During their second March meeting, commissioners considered approving a solar farm for a rectangular tract of land adjacent to Interstate 85 and between Peeler and Webb roads. Commissioners and speakers, however, questioned whether the facility might negatively affect incoming pilots.

Commissioners tabled the matter until Monday’s meeting and requested additional study be done about whether the solar farm would create glare for incoming pilots.

Land where the solar farm is proposed has been designated as a prime spot for economic development. Developers, however, have said the site could house the solar panels and a manufacturing facility.

• Commissioners are scheduled to consider fronting the cost of hotels for a softball tournament later this year.

From July 21 to 24, Rowan County is scheduled to host a regional softball tournament for the 2016 Little League World Series. It will bring 16 softball teams, coaches, families and tournament officials from a nine state region, according to a letter from Convention and Visitor’s Bureau CEO James Meacham. However, hotels must be provided for free to the players, coaches and umpires.

Meacham on Monday will request that the county provide approximately $35,000 to pay for the hotel rooms.  The CVB plans to reimburse Rowan County for the cost by June 30, 2017.

In his letter, Meacham projects that the total economic benefit to Rowan County will be $15 to every $1 spent. His projection is based on the $35,000 figure.

In a phone interview, Meacham said the event could fill Rowan County’s hotel rooms to capacity. He estimates 750 “local hotel night stays” as a result of the tournament.

• Commissioners will consider approving the NC DOT Regional Bicycle Plan for the Central Park NC Region.

In the plan, Rowan County would be part of the “Piedmont Heritage Loop,” which enteres Rowan from Davidson County on Bringle Ferry Road, turns left onto Dunn’s Mountain Road, crosses into Granite Quarry, through Salisbury and Spencer and then crosses the Yadkin River.

The “North Uwharrie Loop” would also cross into Rowan County. It would also cross into Rowan on Bringle Ferry Road, turn onto Wyatt Grove Church Road, continue onto High Rock Road and enter Cabarrus County on St Stephens Church Road.

For more information about the regional bicycle plan, use the following link:

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246