DDA approves sale of old Board of Education building

Published 9:21 am Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Downtown Development Authority met Tuesday morning, where they unanimously approved the sale of the old post office and former Board of Education building, pending details in the contract.

The terms of the purchase presented Reynolds Street Development LLC- John Noel and Mark Harrison as the buyers for an agreed price of $300,000.

The duo would close on the property May 31, 2022 and must have commenced renovations by October 15, 2022. The renovations would then have to be completed by October 2023.

The late closing date allows the duo to possibly receive a residential permit for the ground floor.

Authority Member Tom Conger asked DDA Director Amanda Glover if the contract was contingent upon the businessmen receiving the permit.

Glover explained that when she met with Noel and Harrison they had a plethora of ideas, with residential being one of them.

“I was very forthcoming in saying that as it currently stands that is not a permitted use and they are aware of that,” she said.

However, Glover did inform Noel and Harrison she could take the plans back to the Planning Commission to request residential usage on April 12, which would then appear before City Council to approve.

“They aren’t sold on any one idea, but they would like to have residential as an option,” Glover told the DDA. “They realize it’s a lot of back and forth, which is why they requested a May closing, so there’s ample time.”

Regardless of the decision put forth by the Planning Commission and City Council, Glover said the contract is not contingent upon them receiving approval for residential usage.

Noel and Harrison have a past history of renovations, which impressed both Glover and DDA member, Shae Brouillet.

“He is a very environmental and energy-friendly developer,” Glover said. “A lot of the things we look for in Historic Preservation, he’s very keen to and wants to keep the integrity of the building.”

Conger then asked Glover if the duo did not keep their promises and make the necessary historic renovations, the building would revert back to the DDA, as in the past.

Glover explained the DDA would then buy back the property for the amount paid. However, if they resold the building for a price above the price paid, they would give that money to the LLC.

Authority member, Doug Young said he found this strange, because the building could have went up on value.

Conger agreed.

“If they didn’t do what they were supposed to, why would we want to do that?” he questioned.

Upon hearing the feedback, Glover was open to changing the language in the contract, making it state that if the buyers did not keep good on their promises, the DDA would buy back the property for the amount paid.

Chairman Daryl Cox then asked for a motion to approve the purchase agreement, pending the language change.

Conger made the motion, which received a second by member Melinda Taylor before it was unanimously approved.