UPDATED, Tuesday 1:30 p.m.: The Pasquotank Board of Commissioners have accepted a cash bid of $4.1 million from the Town of Kitty Hawk for the former urgent care property near the U.S. 158/N.C. 12 intersection.
“The town is very excited that our offer on the Sentara, Regional Medical Center property was approved,” said Kitty Hawk Mayor Craig Garriss. “Everyone on the Kitty Hawk Town Council would like to personally thank the Board for working with our town to secure this purchase.”
“We have already begun inspections on the property and are hoping to complete the purchase quickly,” Garriss said in a statement released Tuesday. “Our priority will be to renovate a portion of the building for a much-needed police station.”
“This property also provides a great opportunity for future services for the town and its citizens,” Garriss said. “We look forward to exploring all of the possibilities.”
Reports are there will be a 60-day, due diligence period, with closing expected by the end of the year.
The current police station is located in the old post office building on Kitty Hawk Road and has been inundated by water multiple times from soundside and rain flooding events.
The Town of Kitty Hawk has raised its ante for the Sentara Healthcare property owned by Pasquotank County, just as a Charlotte developer has decreased its bid after learning they will need expensive improvements to build an apartment complex on the site.
At a special meeting held in July, Kitty Hawk Town Council approved making a new offer of $4 million cash for the six-acre tract at 5200 North Croatan Highway, with a September closing date.
A $2.7 million bid by Kitty Hawk was rejected by Pasquotank commissioners in June.
The property was acquired decades ago by then Pasquotank County-owned Albemarle Hospital as the site of a future medical center. It eventually was the location of an urgent care and medical facility.
Sentara Healthcare closed the urgent care in 2017. The sale of the Kitty Hawk property is part of an agreement between Pasquotank County and the Norfolk-based healthcare company that includes building a new hospital in Elizabeth City.
“The town decided to increase the offer after construction costs of a new police department came in significantly over budget and the town temporarily halted the project,” said Kitty Hawk Commissioner David Hines.
Hines said all of northeastern North Carolina would benefit “from a higher level of emergency response services” with so many residents that visit and work in Kitty Hawk.
“The offer presented is more representative of the property’s value under the existing zoning and will hopefully help Pasquotank accelerate some of their own public safety projects,” Hines said.
Hines is a realtor and building contractor that is leading a select committees with Mayor Craig Garriss and Town Attorney Casey Varnell to negotiate the purchase.
“The initial estimate for a new police department was $6 million dollars and was to be located on U.S. 158 near Bennett Street,” Hines said. “The town feels that by purchasing this building and repurposing it to a public safety facility would be a cost savings to the taxpayers of Kitty Hawk.”
DPJ Residential Acquisitions of Charlotte is proposing a five-story apartment complex with at least 210 units, contingent on getting approval of rezoning and other improvements from the Town of Kitty Hawk.
After initially offering $4.5 million to Pasquotank, The Daily Advance reported the developer has since decreased its bid by $1 million after finding out that a wastewater treatment plant would have to be constructed.
A Virginia Beach firm offered $3.75 million, and Pasquotank County Manager Sparty Hammett told The Daily Advance both private bids still stand.
While the private offers opened an upset bid process as required under state law, that would not be necessary if Kitty Hawk and Pasquotank come to an agreement as property transfers between government entities are exempt.
“Both parties have similar goals and it was apparent that both communities are trying to do the right thing for their tax payers,” Hines said.
The Pasquotank Board of Commissioners plan to discuss the offer at their next meeting Monday evening.
“We appreciated our meeting to discuss the offer with County Manager Sparty Hammett and County Attorney Mike Cox and it was good to know that everyone at the table is working towards the betterment of our communities and to enhance the quality of life of our residents,” Hines said.