MOREHEAD CITY — The city council Tuesday voted to sell the old city hall building on Arendell Street to high bidder Michigan-based AJK Acquisitions.
The building, at 706 Arendell St., has been up for sale through an upset bid process since February, and the council rejected previous bids in hope of securing a higher sale price. AJK Acquisitions made a high offer of $375,000, which the council agreed to during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday at the municipal building on S. 8th Street.
“I think we’ve talked about this numerous times, and the only thing that’s changed is time, as far as the amount and what was offered,” Councilwoman Diane Warrender said as she made the motion to accept the bid. The council voted 4-1, with Councilman David Horton opposed. Mr. Horton did not provide a reason for voting against the sale.
With the council’s approval of the bid, city attorney Derek Taylor will execute a purchase agreement, after which there is a 60-day due diligence period for the buyer to fully review the property. After the due diligence period, AJK has 30 days to close on the building.
As part of the conditions of the sale, Morehead City can lease the building for up to 24 months after closing. The city will be allowed to continue to occupy it rent free for 12 months after closing. If the city needs to use the building beyond that, it would pay $8,125 per month for months 13 to 24 of the agreement.
The city hall building on Arendell Street houses the city’s finance, planning and inspections and public services departments. The municipal building, at 202 S. 8th St., contains offices for human resources, communications and administration, including the city manager and clerk.
All government functions will come together under one roof when the new city hall building currently under construction on Bridges Street is complete. It will be a two-story, 22,000-square-foot building with attached council chambers and a price tag around $7.6 million.
Officials broke ground on the new city hall building in late February, with a roughly 15-month timeline to completion. As of last week, construction was about two weeks behind schedule, but still on track to finish by late spring or early summer of 2021.
There no immediate plans to sell the municipal building, which is on the state’s register of historic places.
Contact Elise Clouser at firstname.lastname@example.org; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.