City eyeing Willow Run spec building for future Northside park

  • Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Aiken City Council will review and vote on a resolution to purchase a spec building that has been vacant for years to use it as a Northside recreation facility.

The spec building is located in Willow Run Industrial Park, which was developed by Aiken Corp. about a decade ago. Most recently, Hayden Baptist church purchased a little more than 6 acres in this park to construct a new place of worship after the church was destroyed in a fire last summer, according to a memorandum from City Manager Richard Pearce.

The spec building, which is approximately 30,000 square feet, has been eyed by several potential investors, including someone interested in using that location as a gun range. But it has continued to remain vacant over the years.

The building sits at 440 Beaufort St. N.E., which is near a former landfill that the City plans to convert into a park.

According to Pearce's memo, Aiken Corp. is willing to sell two lots and the spec building for $782,375. The two lots are approximately 12.3 acres combined.

Pearce wrote in his memorandum that the City has $2 million in Round II Capital Project Sales Tax funds designated to be used for a Northside Recreation Facility.

The City has met with representatives of the Boys & Girls Club and Aiken Area Council on Aging, both of which are interested in expanding their offices, to discuss possible partnerships by making an arrangement to share space in the new facility – if it's approved by Council.

Ideas pitched for how to use the spec building include a reception area, weight room, programming space and offices, as well as developing practice fields outside.

Council also will conduct the first reading of an ordinance to advance $1.4 million in Round III Capital Project Sales Tax funds from the City's reserve account to start renovations at the Municipal Building, located on Park Avenue.

The City Manager and finance offices moved to a refurbished building at 135 Laurens St., and those vacant spaces will be converted into meeting rooms. The City will also use the opportunity to enhance the old City Hall.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m., Monday, on the second floor of the Municipal Building located at 214 Park Ave. S.W.

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