The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau has received a second appraisal for its new downtown office building, paving the way for city and county approval.
The appraisal, done by Brian Pray of Oxford, put the building”s worth at $850,000, or $212.50 per square foot, which is $250,000 more than the first appraisal for $600,000 by Stewart Stafford of Columbus.
CVB board attorney David Dunn said Pray, who specializes in historic buildings, looked at four or five comparable purchases that weren”t in Stafford”s appraisal.
Stafford”s appraisal was done for a bank to the bank”s specifications and “did not reflect the fair-market value,” Dunn said.
The first appraisal, which was significantly higher than the asking price of $734,881, raised questions about whether the city and county could legally purchase property for more than its appraised value.
But now, Dunn said, that shouldn”t be a problem.
With the new appraisal in hand, CVB Interim Director Nancy Carpenter will again ask the county Board of Supervisors Monday and the city council Tuesday to approve the purchase.
If all goes well, she said, they hope to close with developer Columbus Castle V, managed by Ronnie West of West Brothers Construction, by Friday.
However, the delay could be costly for the CVB.
In a specially called closed executive session Thursday, the CVB board voted to approve a new contract with Castle V to reflect change orders and costs incurred by the delay.
Instead of the original $734,881, the CVB will pay a total of roughly $748,000, which includes about $10,000 in change orders and $6,000 for upkeep costs since February.
The executive session was called because of “threatened litigation,” Dunn said.