The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority, following its agreement last month to sell the undeveloped acreage in the eastern parcel of its Gateway Technology Business Park, is trying to determine the value of its western parcel in anticipation of interest in the acreage.
The group also wants to come up with firm figures for how much it will have to spend to extend sewer services to the western property.
The group agreed after two sessions closed to the public in December to sell about 38 acres in its Gateway Technology Business Park south of Bogart for roughly $760,000 to Alexion Pharma LLC of New Haven, Conn., the parent company of Synageva BioPharma Corp.
Synageva has a pharmaceutical production and research operation on 11 acres adjoining the undeveloped property.
Discussion of sale and potential sale of the Gateway properties dominated the regular meeting of the IDA, which took place Monday at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce, 55 Nancy Drive in Watkinsville.
Waiting On Contract
IDA Chair Rick Waller told the group that, as of Monday, the county had not yet received the signed contract from Alexion but he remained optimistic that the deal will go through.
The contract the IDA sent to Alexion agreed to sell the property at 1041 Aiken Road south of Bogart for $20,000 an acre, with the exact acreage to be purchased based on the actual acreage shown in a new survey of the property minus areas determined by Alexion to be wetlands.
Waller said at the meeting on Monday that the original amount the IDA sought for the property was $25,000 per acre but the group moved to the lower price when Alexion agreed to purchase all of the property.
Details of the discussions took place in an executive session lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes on Dec. 12 and another lasting 46 minutes on Dec. 14.
The western parcel is 52.8 acres and is bordered by Pete Dickens Road, Aiken Road and SR 316.
The western acreage is separated from the eastern parcel by land not owned by the IDA.
The rough estimate is that it will cost the IDA $800,000 to construct a sewer line to the property, Waller said.
The group agreed to get a firmer figure on actual costs.
Waller said one of his concerns is that the IDA would not have enough money to pay for the sewer line and also be able to buy back the property from Alexion, should the company decide it doesn’t want to use the land even after signing the contract.
The IDA decided to explore ways of getting a line of credit or access to funds to be able to make such a repurchase should it become necessary.
Value Of Land
The IDA has owned the land for the Gateway Park since 2000, and Waller acknowledged it has had trouble finding buyers.
He said there have been some recent indications of interest in the western tract and said the Authority should try to get some sense of its value.
The county Property Appraisal Department valued the land in 2016 at $980,525, or a little less than $20,000 per acre, down from $1,231,085 a year earlier.
New IDA member Linda Carol Porterfield, a real estate broker, presented the Authority with sales from six different properties in 2016 for comparison, with prices ranging from $10,538 per acre (Presbyterian Homes on U.S. 441) to $125,945 per acre (part of the Zasby’s corporate campus on Daniells Bridge Road).
The complete video of the IDA meeting is below.