PIEDMONT — A 60,000-square-foot building in a city industrial park may soon be sold at auction.

The City Council on Tuesday voted to formally return the building to Industrial Partners LLC, an industrial development company. Industrial Partners had paid for the building, but, due to a legal technicality, the building was listed as being owned by Industrial Development Board of the city of Piedmont, a board which no longer exists. The council’s move will allow the company to auction the land off, a step the company could not take until it had clear title to the property, said Nim Frazer, the company’s general manager.

“I’m hoping that there is going to be real interest in the region,” Frazer said of the building and the six acres of property that will be auctioned off with it. “We’ve taken some real positive steps to take care of it.”

Frazer said the auction had been scheduled for June but had to be called off over the detail. Prior to the council’s meeting, Frazer said the company was waiting for the body to take action before rescheduling the auction.  

Piedmont Mayor Bill Baker told the council that the vote will free the company up to move forward with its plan. He added that the asking price for the structure is roughly $1 million.

“It’s pretty cut and dry,” Baker said of the decision. “This is a formality.”

Don Hopper, executive director of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council, said the property is in good shape and that the structure is one more resource that can be used to recruit industry to the area.

“It’s another arrow that we can shoot at industries when we’re trying to recruit them,” Hopper said.

Located about a mile outside of Piedmont in Nances Creek Industrial Park, the property was last leased by Industrial Partners to a company that used machinery to turn large sheets of metal into screens and smaller metal components. That company left about a year ago, and the building has since been empty, according to a city official.

In other business the council:

  • Agreed to consider spending $16,000 to repair a sprinkler system at the old Piedmont Hospital to help a prospective tenant start an adult daycare facility there. The prospective tenant, Ruby Stockdale, said she’s been working for two years to begin the venture at the city-owned property, explaining that she cannot get a license to operate the facility until the sprinkler system is fixed. The matter will be taken up in detail at the council’s Aug. 5 meeting.
  • Received its first report from the Parks and Recreation Department on the city’s new pool, which opened this spring. According to the report the new pool had raised $27,941 in revenue as of June 30. After deducting labor and maintenance expenses, the city has profited $7,878 from the facility to date.
  • Voted to halt plans to seek an analysis of the city’s retail market. The council has been in talks with Jacksonville State University on the matter, but it never proceeded further than that. The council also planned to have Troy University attend a coming meeting to pitch a its plan for an analysis, but as a result of the vote, the Troy visit will be canceled, officials said.
  •  Voted to reappoint Lee Young to a municipal electric services board.

Staff writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LGaddy_Star.