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Watauga Commissioners Accept John Winkler’s $160,000 Offer for Oak Street Property, Upset-Bid Process Begins

The Oak Street property.
The Oak Street property.

By Jesse Wood

Aug. 29, 2014. The Watauga County Board of Commissioners accepted a $160,000 offer from real estate agent John Winkler for county-owned property located at 347 Oak St. at a special meeting on Thursday evening.

The decision was unanimous, according to Board Clerk Anita Fogleman. Now, the upset-bid process begins.

The property, which was formerly owned by New River Behavioral HealthCare before its demise, consists of a 2,394-square-foot building on .324 acres. According to Finance Director Margaret Pierce, the R-3 zoned land is valued at $201,000.

Although the building is valued at $169,000, it will likely be demolished. In past meetings, commissioners have discussed a fire department burning the building down as a training exercise.

The offer includes 180 days for due diligence. Commissioners noted that Winkler wanted the extra time to obtain permits from the Town of Boone. The offer also doesn’t include a broker commissions that would net the county less money for the property.

With this offer being accepted, the upset bid period begins. Each successive offer must include the same terms as Winkler’s offer – including due diligence time and no brokerage fees.

The next bidder has 10 days to bid five percent more than Winkler’s bid.

Earlier this year, the county put the property on the market at $425,000 but received no offers. It then dropped the price to $210,000 and received more interest.

In April, the commissioners rejected an offer that would have netted the county $142,500 after a commission fee to GovDeals.com, an online government surplus auction.

Earlier this month, the county tabled two offers of $100,000 from Joseph Greer and $150,000 from Winkler for its September meeting. Then Winkler submitted the accepted offer days before last night’s special meeting.

The property was formerly owned by New River Behavioral HealthCare before its well-documented demise nearly three years ago, and in October 2011, the Watauga County Board of Commissioners agreed to finance New River’s payroll and other obligations by loaning the entity half of the property tax value of the Oak Street property and another parcel in Boone with a future advanced deed of trust.

See Winkler’s accepted offer here: Oak Street Offer – signed 082814.