Darrell Locklear, Assistant Administrator of Operations for St. Johns County, announced to Historic City News that he is ready to ask the Board of Commissioners Tuesday to approve an $8 million-dollar agreement that will pave the way for Lowes to open a major home improvement store in St. Augustine.
Earlier this year, the county began negotiations with North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, based Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc., who Locklear said approached the County about the purchase of the Health and Human Services Center property on US-1, South; across from Flagler Hospital.
The proposed purchase agreement negotiated by staff is for Lowes to pay a total of $8,662,000 — $8 million for the property, then $662,000 in relocation and impact fees that the county will incur because of relocation.
The recent appraised value of the county-owned property is $7,836,000.
If the plan gets the go ahead, the County would build a new facility on the existing County Administration complex property to house the departments and services currently provided at the existing Health and Human Services Center.
Locklear believes that developing a home improvement and retail garden center on the property will provide a monetary benefit to the County expected to be in excess of $3,000,000; due to space and operating efficiencies of a new building, cost avoidance of needed improvements at the existing facility as well as new property and sales tax revenue.
During the two years needed for construction, the County will lease the existing building back from Lowes for $1.00.
The agreement allows Lowes a “due diligence period” prior to closing in mid to late 2012.
If you are planning to attend — the regular St. Johns County Board of County Commission meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday and will be held in the St. Johns County Auditorium located at 500 San Sebastian View in St. Augustine. It will be broadcast live on Comcast Government TV (Cable Channel 3) and is streamed over the Internet.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer