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Commissioners hire firm for speculative buildings

Rowan County is turning to a private company based in the Piedmont Triad to bolster economic development.

County commissioners on Monday approved an agreement with Triad Commercial Properties, with offices in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, to recruit developers for speculatory buildings on county property.

The firm wouldn’t charge Rowan County a fee for services. Instead, the group would charge a commission on successful projects. The agreement lasts for one year, is renewable and could be canceled at any time with advance notice.

Triad Commercial Properties is a self-described real estate brokerage firm. William Woltz, a partner at the company, said Triad Commercial Properties would use its existing relationships to find private developers to build facilities commonly known as “spec buildings” on county property.

Woltz described Rowan County’s location on I-85, between the Piedmont Triad area and Charlotte, as a selling point for interested companies.

“In a lot of markets, we are looking at the point where we have more tenants than facilities,” he said. “Speculative property is being built on the I-85 corridor outside of Charlotte and we’ve got speculative buildings being built now in Greensboro and Winston-Salem.”

He described the exchange as Rowan County offering land at a discounted price in exchange for a speculative building.

County Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds said several potential parcels of land totaling 92 acres could be used for speculative buildings near Gildan Yarns, on Heilig Road. One parcel also remains to be sold at Summit Corporate Center, which is the future home of a retail complex and Agility Fuel Systems. Privately owned land could also be used for speculative buildings arranged through Triad Commercial Properties, Edds said.

Building facilities on sites near Gildan, however, are a priority, Edds said.

Vice Chairman Jim Greene made a motion to approve the agreement, and Commissioner Judy Klusman offered a second. It passed unanimously.

In other business from Monday’s meeting:

• Commissioners tabled a policy that would have allowed beer and wine sales at the West End Plaza.

Commissioner Mike Caskey made the motion at the start of Monday’s meeting. Caskey said the reason for the policy to be tabled was that Alcoholic Beverage Control lawyers are examining it.

County Manager Aaron Church drafted the policy as part of an idea proposed by County Commissioner Craig Pierce. In June, county commissioners approved an amendment to Rowan’s ordinances to allow beer and wine at West End Plaza special events. An approval of Church’s policy would be the final step needed to make the idea a reality.

The idea was proposed as a way to attract more events to West End Plaza, which the county hopes to dedicate a portion of to a convention center.

The section pertaining to beer and wine states: “Beer and Wine is permitted. Licensed bartender must serve on-site; event guests may not serve alcohol. Security must be contracted if alcohol (beer and wine) is served.”

• Commissioners voted to rejoin the Charlotte Regional Partnership, which is an economic development cooperative.

• Commissioners voted to surplus three county buildings with a combined tax value of more than $3 million

Two of the properties previously housed divisions of Rowan’s Social Services Department. One building is located at 1236 W. Innes St. and the other is at 165 Mahaley Ave.

The third property is a house on South Carolina Avenue in Spencer. It was formerly a house for homeless veterans.

• Commissioners also declared two school system buildings as surplus property

The buildings were the R.G. Kizer School property, 2600 Cottage St. in Salisbury and the Long Street Administrative Office, 110 South Long Street in East Spencer.

The two properties were presented to the commissioners as part of a process called “right of first refusal.” It gives the commissioners a shot at claiming the property before the school system begins looking to sell the buildings.

• Commissioners approved ADW Architects as the firm to oversee renovations at West End Plaza and Ramsay-Burgin-Smith as the architects to oversee construction of an office building at the Rowan County Airport.

• Commissioners approved an agreement to let a Slide the City Event use West End Plaza’s parking lot during the event.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

 

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