By Jennifer Lenain, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
During the closed meeting, Mayor Ed Pinero provided the SRC board with a brief overview of the city’s offer and plans for the future of the property.
“There are no permanent plans yet,” Pinero said. “Ideally, the plan would be perpetual green space and the possibility of an amphitheater.”
Pinero said the city “received extremely positive feedback from the board.”
“Southern Regional Corporation is very excited that the city will own the property,” said Tim Hart, president of the Southern Regional Corp. Board. “The ideas they brought forth, using it as green space, will be good for everyone.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the city,” Council member Wayne Gouguet said. “Generations to come are going to benefit from this purchase.
“We are committed to making it green space and the focal point of the city,” Gouguet said.
The total amount of the costs associated with the sale is $255,000. That figure includes the purchase of the property, demolition fees to tear down the old hospital and a performance bond, said Pinero.
Southern Regional Corp. asked $237,000 for the property and mentioned other interested buyers. Hart said no other contracts to purchase the property had been brought to the board but it was a “big deal for us to sell at less than market value.”
With the building removed, the property is valued by real estate appraisers at an estimated $400,000 to $800,000, said Hart.
Southern Regional Corp. is a 501-C3 non-profit organization and the proceeds of the sale will go back into the foundation to keep improving the Cornerstone building, which the board also owns.
Council members Larry Breland and Lynn Bogan Bumpers voted against the motion that passed with a 4/2 vote, to purchase the property.
When contacted for a comment, Bumpers said she had “no comment.” Breland was unable to be reached Thursday afternoon.