Interest picks up for county’s West Innes building

Published 12:05 am Friday, September 16, 2016

By Josh Bergeron

SALISBURY — There may be significant interest in the county’s vacant West Innes Street building after all.

For months, years even, county officials have wondered what to do with a vacant building located at 1236 W. Innes St.  It has housed a number of county departments since being built decades ago. Now, it sits unused by county government.

Mold has grown on the building’s interior walls and roof. It contains asbestos that hasn’t cracked and become airborne and lead in some of the building’s door casings.

County commissioners, however, are offering a large, adjacent parking lot along with the land containing the former Department of Social Services building. The property was tempting enough to attract a $20,000 offer from a business owned by NASCAR driver Mike Wallace, which commissioners approved last week. County commissioners Chairman Greg Edds audibly sighed before voting in favor of the $20,000 offer.

With the approval, which came unanimously, an upset bid process started. It’s similar to an auction, but it occurs over a period of days instead of the same day.

On Wednesday afternoon, Rowan County government received another offer for the building. This one came from Davie County resident Delmar McDaniel, who offered $25,000 for the building and its surrounding property.

Counting an agreement that fell through last year, McDaniel’s offer is the third time county commissioners have received an offer for the West Innes building. None have matched the property’s tax value — more than $1 million.

The latest offer starts a new timer for upset bids. A new deadline has been set for Sept. 27 by 5 p.m. The next bid must be at least $26,345, according to a public notice. McDaniel’s offer, in fact, was higher than the required minimum of roughly $21,000 that he needed to meet.

McDaniel couldn’t be reached Thursday to comment about his potential plans for the building.

If the upset bid deadline passes without another offer, county commissioners will need to decide whether to approve a sale.

Previously, commissioners had agreed to demolish the building. Before that, commissioners suggested that the Rowan-Salisbury School System use it as a central office. At one point in 2013, commissioners discussed whether it could be used as a facility for a business incubator.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.