Armory fetches top bid of $32,500

Jun. 12, 2014 @ 06:55 PM

The Vance County Board of Commissioners has 48 hours to approve a $32,500 closing bid for property located on Dabney Drive, Henderson.

The county’s realtor, Roger’s Realty and Auction of Mount Airy, held a public auction for the National Guard Armory building Thursday.

Bidding opened at $250,000 with no takers.

Six bidders registered, but only two offers were submitted online.

Auctioneer Mark Rogers said the first bidder put up about $25,000 before he closed the second offer of $32,500.

“A property is going to sell for what buyers will pay,” Rogers said.

He said bidders were hesitant, probably because of how much quick renovation or demolition of the property would cost.

The building has been vacant for more than 12 years since the National Guard reorganized and relocated in 2002.

The county put a provision on the 1.74 acres of land requiring the property on it be renovated or razed within three years of its purchase.

Deputy county manager and planning director Jordan McMillen said the county has rented it out for events like family reunions and the Shriners’ fish fry in the past.

“There have been a lot of uses for it while the National Guard had it and after,” McMillen said. “But in the last few years it has gone downhill a little.”

The building currently has a leaking ceiling that is completely collapsed in one area.

Built in 1935, the armory has a current market value of about $190,000 based on a 2008 appraisal.

The county’s discussion on selling the property started in January with commissioner Tommy Hester bringing a contractor’s demolition estimate of $185,000 to a board meeting.

The board of commissioners made final preparations to sell the property, instead, on May 5.

David Beck, the county finance director, said Thursday he had no idea what to expect from the auction and the turnout was moderate.

County manager Jerry Ayscue said it could have gone better.

“It certainly was a lower price than we would have liked and we would have hoped for,” Ayscue said. “The board of commissioners has final approval for the amount of sale. That will be addressed tomorrow at the called meeting at noon.”

Chairwoman Deborah Brown called the meeting for the purpose of approving or rejecting the offer. Rogers said the closing bidder, and others that registered, will be revealed at that time.

Ayscue said he had no clue how commissioners will proceed with the offer.

“I have not discussed it with them yet,” he said. “We are confident that whoever purchases the property will make improvements to the community and enhance our tax base.”


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