$15M offered for old WHS
by Kellen Moore
The proposal from Campus Crest Development, included on Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners agenda, is the first official offer on the property in more than a year. It also comes as the board prepares to meet with the Economic Development Commission next week about the possibility of creating a business park on the land.
In the proposal, Campus Crest Development requests a 180-day inspection period of the property. During that time, the seller would have to ensure that the Town of Boone would permanently extend the previous water allocation of 365,367 gallons per month at the site, according to the offer.
The seller also would have to ensure that a traffic light was reinstalled at the intersection of N.C. 105 and High School Drive, the offer states.
While it does not go into detail about possible uses for the site, the terms do state that the purchaser will evaluate the roughly 74-acre property for student apartments. Since it was founded in 2004, Campus Crest has constructed 39 student housing complexes with 20,884 total beds across 18 states, according to the company website.
If the county accepted the new offer, it would be subject to a 10-day upset bid process.
If accepted, the buyer’s agent, Rick Miller of Miller Properties, also would receive a 10 percent commission from the county at closing, the offer states.
Miller is familiar with the property, having made his own offers on the tract in
2011 and in 2006.
In July 2011, the Board of Commissioners countered his $10 million offer — and a $7 million offer from the Lincoln Harris company — at $20 million.
Last October, commissioners received a letter of intent from Diane Fountain and Core Asset Group to purchase the land for $20 million. The group planned to create a mixed-use and affordable living area with commercial components, according to the letter. It is not clear whether she followed with a formal written offer.
In 2006, when the former high school was still in use and before the economy took a nosedive, the Watauga County Board of Education and the county received offers of $32 million, $30 million and $33 million, county records show.
An appraisal conducted last year estimated the
parcel's value at $7.87 million.
Today, the former high school building and outlying structures are being demolished by NEO Corporation.
The Economic Development Commission has proposed that the county create a business park at the site for light industry, shipping, research and development or office users. County commissioners and the EDC have set a joint meeting for 4:30 p.m. Oct. 8 to discuss the prospect.
The Board of Commissioners’ meeting is set for 8 a.m. Tuesday at the Watauga County Administration Building.