City to accept final bids for old Tyson Mexican Original plant

Mayor Lioneld Jordan (left) and Ward 3 Alderman Martin Schoppmeyer look at a broken skylight in an abandoned office inside the former Tyson Mexican Original plant Monday afternoon.

Photo by Todd Gill, Flyer staff

The city will likely receive at least $100,000 more than expected for the former Tyson Mexican Original plant in southeast Fayetteville.

City Council members voted Tuesday to give two interested parties an opportunity to up the amount they’re willing to pay for the city-owned property at Huntsville and Happy Hollow roads.

The former plant is located at the intersection of Huntsville and Happy Hollow roads.

Aerial photo: Google Maps

Aldermen were set to decide on a $900,000 offer from Kum & Go Tuesday night, but a last-minute offer of $1 million from Casey’s General Store caused Kum & Go to increase their offer, setting the stage for a potential bidding war.

Both companies have agreed to purchase roughly two acres of the 10-acre property, and to pay up to $100,000 toward the cost of demolishing the abandoned factory before building a new gasoline and convenience store on the east side of the site.

Instead of deciding on a buyer Tuesday night, council members agreed to table the issue and accept a final round of sealed offers before reconsidering the sale in three weeks.

In order to keep things fair, City Attorney Kit Williams said the plan is to wait until the Feb. 5 council meeting before opening any of the sealed bids.

“The City Council then could consider both offers and determine what is most advantageous for the citizens of Fayetteville,” said Williams.

A crew of city workers and police officers helped lead a tour through the plant’s abandoned rooms using flashlights and gas generator-powered lights on Monday.

Photo: Todd Gill

Both Kum & Go and Casey’s General Store must deliver their final offers to Williams by 4 p.m. the day of the meeting. All other interested parties have until Jan. 28 to become eligible to present a sealed bid of their own.

“I think it is important for us to consider tabling this, because this is an important piece of property, and it’s evident that there is interest in it,” said Ward 2 Alderman Mark Kinion. “We do need to look at this deliberately and with as much information as we can have in front of us.”

The city purchased the 11.2-acre property for $1.1 million in 2004. Part of the land was used to build a new fire station and to realign and widen Huntsville Road.

The factory building has since been vandalized and stripped of its valuable metals. Broken windows and skylights have led to mold-infested ceilings and overwhelming water damage to the plant’s walls and floors.

If the property is sold, Williams said the city could then sell another commercially-viable two-acre lot and keep the remaining land for city use.

» See photos taken during a recent tour of the abandoned factory