PHOTOS: Aldermen tour former Tyson Mexican Original plant

Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan looks around a room inside the former Tyson Mexican Original plant Monday afternoon.

Photos by Todd Gill, Flyer staff

Mayor Lioneld Jordan and members of the City Council walked from room to room inside an abandoned factory in southeast Fayetteville to survey its condition Monday afternoon.

The building, located at Huntsville and Happy Hollow roads, was once home to a Tyson Mexican Original plant, but has sat mostly empty since the city purchased the 11.2-acre property for $1.1 million in 2004.

Aldermen are set to consider selling the building and a portion of the surrounding property during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Kum & Go has offered the city $900,000 for about two acres on the east side of the property with plans to build a new gasoline and convenience store. A second offer, for $1 million, was submitted Monday by Casey’s General Store.

Lindsley Smith, the city’s communication director, examines water damage on the wall of one of the abandoned rooms.

Todd Gill

Aside from the extra $100,000, City Attorney Kit Williams said the two land sale offers were “virtually identical.”

City officials have discussed using the factory for fire, police or other city services, but Williams said the building has been vandalized and stripped of its valuable metals in recent years. He said police are frequently called to the site for ongoing problems and safety issues.

Monday’s tour offered council members a first-hand look at the destruction caused by vandals and the numerous safety hazards the building presents.

A crew of city workers and police officers helped lead the group through the abandoned rooms using flashlights and gas generator-powered lights.

Broken windows and skylights have led to mold-infested ceilings and overwhelming water damage to the factory’s floors and walls. Metal grates have been removed exposing large holes in the foundation of the building.

Demolishing the building, Williams said, is something city officials have suggested to rid the intersection of an eyesore and ensure the land is eventually attractively developed.

Both companies have agreed to pay up to $100,000 toward demolition of the factory and to split the cost of any required street improvements with the city.

If the property is sold, Williams said the city would then be able to sell a “very commercially viable” two-acre lot and keep the remaining land for city use.

More photos

Mayor Lioneld Jordan (left) and Ward 3 Alderman Martin Schoppmeyer look at a broken skylight.

Jordan picks up some debris in an abandoned office.

Peter Nierengarten, the city’s director of sustainability and strategic planning, uses a flashlight to look inside the ceiling of a room once home to networking equipment.