At a meeting on Wednesday morning the board of directors unanimously approved new pricing for 11 buildings and two property packages. It also decided to put one set of buildings, barracks collectively known as the starships plus nearby structures, into a type of bidding process, said Ronnie Smith, board chairman.
There were a variety of reasons to re-examine the pricing structure, including the economy which has driven real estate property prices down, he said.
The former prices were set by the Joint Powers Authority, the predecessor of the development authority, based mainly on the Calhoun County tax appraisals, but the properties were just not moving, Smith said.
“We’re concerned that we have overstated the value of those properties,” Smith said. “We want to price it in a way that we aren’t running people off, that appears we’re serious about selling property.”
The goal of the authority is to get the properties redeveloped and back on the tax rolls, so the authority decided it was time to take a new tack. But there was still the problem of finding a more competitive price.
“We didn’t have the resources, the money to have every piece of property individually appraised,” Smith said
Smith said authority staff looked at recent property sales in the area as well as a comparing the past sale prices of other properties at McClellan with their tax appraisals and came up with the new prices, Smith said. In addition, many of the properties have been sitting empty since the mid-’90s when the military started clearing out of the former Fort McClellan and so the condition had to be take into account.
Some of the changes were major — the10-building package in the historic warehouse district dropped from an asking price of $1.4 million to $500,000. But others were minor changes, such as the former TV-24 building, situated just north of the old PX, which went from an asking price of $343,800 to $332,300.
Another change is in the group of properties in the vicinity of multi-story barracks known as the starships. That group, which includes two gymnasiums, has eight buildings and 80 acres, and the board had been hopeful to sell it to a company for use as an office area of some kind. Now, though, the group intends to contact development groups across the state and ask for bids along with plans for its use, Smith said.
The process, Smith said, will be similar to how the city of Anniston sold the old Noble Street School.
“Submit a proposal of how you would like to use that property, how many jobs would you bring and all those other things and we will factor that in to the price of the property,” Smith said. “We hope to get this property out onto a lot of national sites.”
In other business the board:
• Heard a financial report update on its third quarter including earnings of $125,000 in timber sales, surpassing the annual goal in timber sales.
• Approved granting a utility easement for Bains Gap and Baby Bains Gap roads.
Star staff writer Laura Camper at 256-235-3545.