Update: The auction of the former Hayes Center has been pushed back a week to Aug. 21 at 12:30 p.m. on the Watauga County Courthouse Steps
By Jesse Wood & Paul T. Choate
July 25, 2012. After foreclosing in February, the former Robert and Miriam Hayes Performing Arts Center will be sold on the Watauga County Courthouse steps on Aug. 21 at 12:30 p.m.
The floundering center could never overcome its substantial debt incurred from the construction and operation of the performing arts theater.
The 26,500-square-foot building, which held 348 seats and was completed in 2006, cost nearly $10 million to construct, and opened its doors with $5 million in debt.
The property is located off of U.S. 321 in Blowing Rock. The building sits on 4.51 acres, according to the foreclosure filing.
As it stands right now, the outstanding debt on the Wells Fargo mortgage is $4,465,631.
Bill Tester, appraisal director and revaluation coordinator with the North Carolina Office of Information Technology Services, said the tax value of the property is $3,847,900. Tester added that he would be surprised if it sells for more than tax value.
“It depends on properties like this. Since they are special use properties, they will generally sell for more – at least in the past,” Tester said. “But since the real estate market has gone down substantially in the last 4 to 5 years – at least statistically – the real estate values are almost exactly what the tax values are currently.”
Kent Tarbutton, who was on the board of trustees for the Hayes Center, said he heard of a few people who have shown interest in the property, including a man from New York who recently visited the property.
The initial bid starts at $300 and a cash deposit of 5 percent or $750, whichever greater, is required. The sale will be open for upset bids for 10 days after the high bid is posted on Aug. 14.
This is the second high profile theater foreclosure in less than a year in the High Country. The Appalachian Twin Theater, of course, foreclosed last fall.
See article about both theaters that was published earlier today: http://www.hcpress.com/news/apples-and-oranges-considering-hayes-center-pitfalls-when-predicting-appalachian-twin-theaters-future.html