HUNTERSVILLE – It became a little more complicated as the conversation unfolded, but the town does intend to consider a developer’s offer to purchase just over two acres of downtown property near the Gilead Road/N.C. 115 intersection.
At their May 6 meeting, commissioners initially moved to accept the offer and proceed with negotiations with North State Development, LLC for the sale of seven town-owned parcels, most with Gilead Road frontage, just west of the Town Center building.
But in considering potential right of way needs related to the anticipated widening of Gilead Road, commissioners took a step back from the agreement and opted for a two-week delay so details can be examined.
When Town Attorney Angela Beeker introduced North State’s proposal to pay $600,000 for the parcels, Commissioner Nick Walsh was the first to make a quickly-seconded motion to accept the offer and initiate the upset bid process required before the sale could be completed.
But when Commissioner Danny Phillips asked if the town was retaining the right of way required for the planned road widening, the issue stalled.
Town Manager Anthony Roberts said it’s not clear at this point what the right of way needs will be for the Gilead Road project, scheduled for right of way acquisition in 2022 with construction to begin in 2025. And Town Engineer Max Buchanan said he believed additional right of way required for the project would be obtained from the other side of Gilead to avoid impacts to the Town Center building.
Buchanan also said he believed, in previous similar transactions, the town has made future right of way considerations a condition of the sale.
But there was lingering uncertainty about the matter.
“I can’t support this at this time until that is resolved,” Phillips said.
Beeker explained she didn’t think the stipulation could be added after the deal was finalized, but it could be added to the negotiations with the potential buyer.
Commissioners, acknowledging the importance of securing an agreement about right of way needs before a deal was completed, then went about figuring out how to do that.
Commissioner Brian Hines attempted to make a motion to defer, but Mayor John Aneralla said the motion on the floor needed to be dealt with first. As a result, the motion to accept the offer was put to a vote, and received no support.
Eventually, with Beeker’s input, the board determined the steps it wanted to take and Phillips made the motion to defer a decision on the offer until the board’s May 20 meeting, with the right of way issue addressed in revised agreement terms.