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Old Mt. Pleasant Middle School property could be mixed use project


Published Thursday, March 22, 2018
by Independent Tribune

County commissioners have accepted an offer to buy the old Mt. Pleasant Middle School campus, which could eventually become a mixed-use development.

At their Monday, March 19, regular meeting, commissioners voted to accept a $510,000 offer for the main part of the school, which is located at 8325 N.C. 49 in Mt. Pleasant, though the move is conditional on the upset bid process.

“Accepting the project to move forward in no way binds you to selecting this bid at the end of the process,” County Manager Mike Downs said. “This just gets the process moving forward so that the upset bid process can start.”

The site for sale is the main campus of the old middle school but does not include the parcel across the street that houses three small baseball fields currently used by Mt. Pleasant’s youth association.

Corporate Funding Associates, LLC, made the offer accepted by commissioners with a closing date of April 20 and due diligence period through April 19. Harris Morrison with New Branch Real Estate Advisors, the county’s consultant for sale of the property, said the firm plans to pursue a mixed-use development.

“That would have commercial up front and a mix of retail uses and commercial uses up front, on the ball fields that are open space, and then they are intending to preserve both the gym and the auditorium and kind of renovate those and have those made available for the public and kind of have them more community-oriented,” he said. “Then they want to have residential on the back side.”

Morrison said he wasn’t sure what type of housing the company planned but added Corporate Funding Associates was very familiar with Mt. Pleasant.

“The town has been good to them, so they want to give back and do some good things for the town,” he said. “They envisioned that this is going to help the tax base, and so it seems like a really good use of that. Of course, they would have to go through the planning department, but I think they’ve met with all the planning department.”

Commissioners did receive a second offer for the property, as well. Primax Properties, LLC, made a $250,000 bid with a due diligence period lasting until Feb. 28, 2019—a 280-day time frame as opposed to 28 days in the Corporate Funding Associate offer.

New Branch Real Estate Advisors staff said the second proposal planned for a similar mixed-use development but didn’t mention preserving the gym and theater.

Now that commissioners have said yes to an offer, the county enters the upset bid process, meaning other buyers have the option to make another offer within 10 days the conditional acceptance is posted. If commissioners choose to accept the counter offer, other buyers have an opportunity 10 days from then to make a challenging bid—and the process continues until no alternative bids come in.

New Branch Real Estate Advisors staff said they anticipated some other bids coming in.

“We feel like it has received good exposure,” Morrison said. “I would say that there is still a lot of interest out there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a number of people who are just watching this process and may look at this and may choose to consider an upset bid.”

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