Albemarle extends deadline to submit proposals for re-purposing former police headquarters

Published 2:39 pm Monday, June 13, 2022

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The city of Albemarle has extended its request for proposals to purchase and enter into a development agreement to re-purpose the old Albemarle Police headquarters on North 2nd Street. The deadline had been set for April 22 but has been extended to no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 1.

The city decided to extend the deadline in order to give perspective developers more time to make proposals, said City Manager Michael Ferris. Only one proposal has been received.

“We’re trying to get the greatest number of proposals in because we want to see what people have in terms of concepts and ideas for the use of the building,” Ferris said, noting the final decision will be based on numerous factors, beyond just the bottom dollar, including how the proposals would impact and enhance the downtown. “It’s just not solely about the highest price, but it’s about what the value it would add to our community.”

Michael stressed while the city owns the 7,800-square-foot facility, which was constructed in 1940 and first utilized as a U.S. Post Office before the police bought it and moved into the space in 1969, and does not have to sell it, the city wants to make sure the property is sold to a developer for the purposes of “adding value to the community.”

The police moved into their much-larger headquarters at 155 W. South St. two years ago. An appraisal of the vacant property was completed last fall and it showed a value of $350,000.

Interested parties must submit five copies of their development proposals in response to the RFP, which was first sent out in late February.

“Proposals should be focused on creating a space that complements the vitality of downtown and promotes residential and retail activity downtown beyond standard 8-5 business hours,” according to the document.

Following the updated application deadline, the City Development Review Committee will meet with prospective developers to go over each proposal in detail. The committee will conduct a final review and submit its recommendations to City Manager Michael Ferris and city attorney Britt Burch. They will then bring the recommendation before City Council for approval.

While the process is fluid and could change depending on factors such as how many proposals are received, Ferris said he expects Council to approve the city’s recommendation sometime before the end of the year.

“The whole point is to do what’s best for the community and get the proposals in front of as many people as possible and see what comes in,” Ferris said.

The city is looking to redevelop several other properties it owns in the downtown area, including the old mill at Market Station. Council approved an incentive agreement last year for a craft beer startup business, Uwharrie Brewing, which is set to open this summer in the former fire station behind City Hall.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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