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Templeton Properties Submits $18,948,000 Upset Bid for Old WHS, Marks Fourth Interested Entity as of Late

By Jesse Wood

Oct. 26, 2012. Well, that didn’t take long.

The first day of the upset bid process began this morning and within no time County Manager Deron Geouque received the first upset bid on the old Watauga High School property. 

According to the “Purchase and Sale Agreement,” Templeton Properties LP offered $18,948,000. Once the five percent commission ($947,400) is taken off the top of the purchase price, the county would net $18,000,600. Phil Templeton, president of Templeton Properties, signed the agreement.

The previous offer from Campus Crest Development was $18 million, an offer that would net the county $17.1 million after a five percent commission to Rick Miller of Millers Properties.

The upset bid from Templeton Properties throws a new competitor into the ring. Templeton Properties marks the fourth entity to submit bids on the property in the last month, although Campus Crest Development’s bid was the only one accepted prior to the Templeton upset bid.

Campus Crest Development plans for a mixed-use development with student housing and retail. Sanctuary Management, which submitted a zero-percent commission bid alongside Campus Crest Development, had plans for student housing with the prospects of a 35,000- to 45,000-square-foot grocery store.

Sanctuary Management’s bid which was not accepted because the board favored the Campus Crest Development’s bid was $16.8 million offer with a zero percent commission. Place Acquisition, which had plans for student housing with mixed retail, also submitted an inferior bid several weeks ago, but did not return to address the other offers.

Speaking on Friday morning, Templeton declined to discuss plans for the property if his group wins the upset bid process.

“I don’t have the freedom to talk right now,” Templeton said, adding that he would be glad to talk after the upset-bid process.

Templeton owns property that is connected to the old WHS property – the condos across the street from Boone Mall.

The deadline for the next upset bid, which must be consistent with terms on the Campus Crest bid, is Thursday, Nov. 8, at 5 p.m. The next bid must be at least $19,895,450, and the Watauga County Board of Commissioners must approve of the winning offer. Any future bids must maintain a five percent commission to be taken off the top of the purchase price for the real estate agent representing the buyer.

Last week Commissioner Vince Gable – and candidate seeking re-election – was standing outside the courthouse trying to sway voters entering the booths for early voting. He was visibly excited about the opportunity to finally sell the 75-acre property that has been dormant for several years. 

He said this property could fetch more than $20 million with the numerous interested entities.

If that’s the case, this would double the amount that was offered for the property as early as last summer, but it is still not anywhere near the three offers for more than $30 million that were submitted but not accepted before the Great Recession.

For more details and background information on the interest of the property in the past month, click to a previous High Country Press story: