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Youngsville near a deal on buildings?

YOUNGSVILLE -- By the end of this year, town officials could sell their old town hall/police department building.

Town commissioners voted to sell the property in February 2018 and, by the end of that year, the town's attorney notified the board he had begun negotiations to sell the property.

However, a host of hiccups occurred, including a long period of time where the town was unable to make contact with the buyer's attorney, leaving the property vacant.

That failure to communicate was resolved, said Town Attorney Ed Bartholomew and an offer of $159,000 has been made.

That price, Town Administrator Phillip Cordeiro said, was an amount recommended by a town-hired appraiser.

During the board's Oct. 10 meeting, commissioners authorized the sale of the property through the upset bid process.

"... This is getting us in the right direction," said Mayor Fonzie Flowers. "It has been a long time."

The town was expected to advertise the sale today (Oct. 17), beginning the 10-day upset bid process.

During that period of time, anyone has the chance to submit a qualifying offer -- an amount that is a certain percentage above the original offer.

If that happens, the 10-day period starts over.

That cycle can continue, "ad nauseam," Bartholomew said, "until we get to an eventual ending point."

The process can be lengthy if there is significant interest in the property, but that would also generate a benefit for the town, he said.

"[It can take a long time but] that's great for the town because we get more money for the property," he said. "... At the end of the day, we'd be selling it for a lot more, potentially, than what we negotiated."

If there are no upset bids, or at the conclusion of the upset bid process, there are still hurdles to clear.

Town Administrator Phillip Cordeiro said the buyer has asked for a 60-day period to perform due diligence on the property -- having an environmental inspection performed.

That work, Cordeiro said, would inform the buyer of how much rehabilitation and renovation work is needed to make the property habitable.

At that point, Cordeiro said, the buyer would have to determine if the cost is worth it.

If so, then commissioners get involved again.

"You still have to approve the final sale of that property," Cordeiro told commissioners, noting that some of the parameters of the sale include that the property not be neglected and used for business purposes.

"[This action to approve the upset bid process]," Cordeiro said, "is not the last opportunity you'll have to approve the sale."

The resolution to authorize the upset bid process was approved by unanimous decision.

Also, during the meeting, Cordeiro updated the board about another property that could benefit the town.

In July, Cordeiro informed commissioners and the community that the North Wake County Baseball Association was looking for a new location for their program and Youngsville is one of the places for which they've expressed interest.

North Wake's current lease for its program expires at the end of 2020 and they contacted Youngsville about a potential partnership.

That partnership would come in the form of a long-term operating lease -- 15 years -- where the town would take on the expense of building a ballfield complex with three fields, batting cages and other amenities.

In exchange, North Wake would pay the town a monthly lease fee to cover those costs. The town is exploring a 7-acre site next to Faith Baptist Church, beside Luddy Park, and Cordeiro told commissioners that they're nearing the point where they could put together the terms of a financial agreement for North Wake to review.

"We have received an appraisal on the land for the Faith Baptist property and we have a quote now for construction," Cordeiro told the board.

"Right now, we have pretty much all the information that we need to put forth the financial terms for an agreement together, so, we're moving forward."

Ultimately, the matter would go before the public at a meeting to generate public feedback before any action would be taken by town commissioners.

If things were to move forward, Cordeiro estimates that an agreement would have to be reached by Thanksgiving, to allow for construction and be ready for use by the spring of 2021.


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