Pending commissioner approval, a mixed-use development is on its way to the old Mt. Pleasant Middle School site.
After a lengthy upset bid process, Corporate Funding Associates II, LLC, is the last company standing; no other offers came in during the allotted time this last go around, so Cabarrus County commissioners now must decide whether to accept their bid or start the process over. Staff presented the final offer at the Monday, May 7, work session, and the board will make a final vote at the Monday, May 21, regular meeting.
“Our last upset bid process ended up on April 27, and we did not receive another upset bid,” county Area Manager of Operations Kyle Bilafer said. “So the bid stands. It was actually the second bid from this company.”
Corporate Funding Associates II, LLC, actually put in the initial offer on the property, located at 8325 N.C. 49 in Mt. Pleasant, back in March. The board accepted the offer, which set an upset bid process in motion. In April, the county received and accepted a counter offer from Piedmont Hardware Lumber Company for $535,550, and Corporate Funding Associates countered again with an offer of about $601,000, which commissioners conditionally accepted at the April 16 meeting.
Since then, no other offers have come in. Commissioners can decide to either accept the offer as it stands or reject it and start the process over again.
In a letter from Corporate Funding Associates, the company explained its intent for the site—which encompasses the 20-acre main parcel but not the smaller property across the street that houses the ball fields—and basis for the offer price.
“Our group of local investors believes in giving back to this small community that has been good to us,” the letter said. “We want to see this community grow in a controlled and well-planned fashion while keeping its small-town charm its residents have come to enjoy.”
The company said it intends to create a mixed-use community that could potentially have an anchor grocery store, a convenience store, retail, food and an auto parts store with luxury townhouses along North Drive Street.
“Our master plan includes a pedestrian-friendly community in various amenities to encourage families to get outdoors,” the letter said. “We envision a small sports field for residents in the community to enjoy, as well. The current plan also includes renovations of the auditorium and old gym to be available to the community for recreation and small civic events if so desired by the Town of Mt. Pleasant.”
Smaller offices could turn into outside store fronts for either retail or other small businesses.
“We think this plan is viable,” the letter said. “It is something that the local citizens would be proud of and would produce a tax base of over $35 million to the Town of Mt. Pleasant and Cabarrus County.”
The offer did fall below the county’s asking price, but the company said in the letter this came because of asbestos on the property as well as two underground storage tanks that could have leaked, causing contaminated soil.
Corporate Funding Associates also mentioned in the letter an interest in buying the property across the street where the ball fields sit. Commissioners said they wanted to keep those fields available for youth associations until they find a replacement site. Commissioner Lynn Shue expressed concern over the request, but County Manager Mike Downs said he thought the company was just looking to see if the county might be interested in selling the property down the road.
“Their intentions are good, I do believe, and I think it definitely would be an asset to the community,” Shue said. “They desperately need something down there other than what they’ve got. Then if we at some point find property for ball fields and they still have interest in that, then we could talk to them.”