The City of Saline will continue to employ the services of Swisher Commercial to market vacant property.
Council voted 7-0 Monday to renew its agreement with Swisher for 12 months. The city has used Swisher to market its vacant city-owned land since 2013.
The deal will pay broker Tony Caprarese eight percent commission on deals when he's sole realtor, and 10 percent if there's a buyer's agent to split the commission. Available property can be found at www.salineland.com.
City Manager Todd Campbell recommended the 12-month extension to council.
Land sales not only provide one-time funds from sales, but the development also provides the city with ongoing tax revenue
Caprarese, VP and partner at Swisher Commercial, presented the city with a document detailing the progress made so far.
The following properties have been sold.
- Lot 18a was sold for the new Best Western hotel. According to Caprarese, construction is substantially complete, but the project appears to have been "paused for undisclosed reasons."
- Lot 19a was sold for Zippy's Auto Wash, which opened in the fall of 2018.
- 600 N. Maple Road was sold for Maple Oaks development, which is mostly finished.
The city has agreements to sell:
- Lot 20a to GBA Development LLC, which now plans an assisted living facility, grocery store, restaurants and retail next to Zippy's. The coronavirus pandemic has impaired GBA's ability to develop the property thus far, and council approved a 90-day extension on the purchase agreement for $817,500.
- Lot 13 on Woodland Drive East. Peter Danielson, of Rocket Crush Furniture Design and Manufacturing, is still in North Carolina, but is still working with an engineer and contractor to build on-site.
The city is exploring a deal for:
- Lot 14 on North Industrial Drive (at the bend). Caprarese said an established industrial park manufacturer has enquired about the availability of Lot 14 and an unlisted ou-lot in the Shelton Business Park.
Caprarese pledged to bring a conclusion to existing deals and continue to market and draw interest to the remaining lots. He noted that commercial real estate has slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Everybody is in a wait and see mode. There have been some deals that have continued to move forward. For some, they've put the brakes on pending deals they were confident would move forward."
The motion to renew was made by Mayor Brian Marl and seconded by Councillor Jack Ceo. Councillor Christen Mitchell at first said she wouldn't support the motion because she believed the contract should go out to bid. It hasn't gone out to bid since 2013.
Councillor Dean Girbach said he understood the concern but felt that with several deals underway, it would be the wrong time to switch realtors.