After Currituck County Board of Commissioners postponed a decision by one week on beginning the process of selling the county’s visitor center located just south of the state line in Moyock along N.C. 168, the board has decided not to put it on the market.
A proposal had been put forth by Battlefield Moyock LLC to purchase the property at the corner of Caratoke Highway and North Point Boulevard for $2.2 million, $400,000 more than the most recent appraisal.
While the offer and a legally-required deposit of five percent had been made by a limited liability corporation registered in Delaware, the assumption is the party interested in the site is the Wawa convenience store chain.
Sources have since told WOBX that another location in Moyock is now the target of Battlefield Moyock LLC, and that an offer has been made to the current owner of a pair of parcels on the southbound side of N.C. 168.
As of Tuesday evening, Currituck property records indicate no transactions have been made on the parcels identified by the source.
The seven members of the Board of Commissioners unanimously decided at a work session Monday to decline the offer and there are no plans to sell the visitor center, said county spokesperson Randall Edwards.
While several members of the public speaking at the board’s meeting on November 7 said they believed the county had been actively looking to sell the property for some time, and that it was being undervalued, Board Chairman Mike Payment said that was not the case.
“This offer came to the board unsolicited,” Payment said. “We did not seek this bid, and we were not looking at selling the property prior to the offer.”
Payment added they want to weigh the pros and cons of a potential sale and get input from Currituck citizens before making a final decision.
Prior to the public comment period, Payment asked that any action on the resolution to begin the sale process be delayed until the special meeting on November 14.
The request came from Commissioner Bob White who was unable to attend Monday’s meeting. Payment said White wanted to be able to hear what the public had to say and also give his input on the matter, and the motion to delay passed unanimously.
A number of local residents and business community leaders spoke against the proposed sale, including concerns that moving the welcome center to a location farther south would impact businesses that gain attention from travelers stopping at the center.
“We’re weighing if we can do something better for the businesses and tourism, or if everybody is happy with the status quo,” Payment said after the public comments. “This information gives us a lot to think about before we meet next Monday.”
Commissioner Kevin McCord echoed Payment, and other board members appeared to agree, that the decision to possibly sell the visitor center had nothing to do with the work by the Currituck Department of Travel and Tourism and its staff at the visitor center, and that it was strictly based on an offer being made on the property.
Local governments in North Carolina must initiate an upset bid process before disposing of real property, which allows any other bidders to submit a proposal within 10 days of the sale being formally posted.
If a higher bid is submitted, another 10 day period begins to allow additional bids until no more are submitted. Once the bidding period ends and the bid is formally accepted by commissioners, the sale would then have to await 30 days before closing.