AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — Aiken County Council held its third and final reading to sell the old Aiken County Council property. With a vote of 8-0 with one person abstaining, it was a done deal with Council voting to sell the building to WTC Investments for $200,000.
“There’s quite a bit of land there, so there’s enough space to do just about anything,” Aiken County Vice-Chairman Andrew Siders told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.
That land is across from the property where the old Aiken County hospital sits. WTCs plans for the property include removing the current buildings, building a hotel, conference center, apartment complex, and amenity area. “Something we have been working on for several years,” Siders shared.
“That opens us to some of the empty buildings to maybe see some new life pop in and shore business that compliments that kind of thing,” Owner of Blue Collard Christian Carlisle told NewsChannel 6.
One local group considered plans to use the old building as a museum focusing on artifacts found in Hitchcock Woods. “So both of them definitely had merits. I would like to have a win-win and say both of them move forward in some way, shape, or fashion,” Siders said.
The land that sold recently sits on a little more than an acre tract Morgan Street and Richland Avenue West. It’s one that held County Council meetings for a number of years until the new government complex on University Parkway was built.
“Of course we vacated those properties and we opened up bids and several folks put bids in on the property. We had a contract with, with two people and it came down to that,” Sinders recalled.
An ordinance in 2018 OK’d the sale of the structure to Martin Buckley and his wife, Lucy Knowles but we’re told those plans fell through.
“There was evidently some miscommunication between both parties,” Siders said. The time had lapsed but we still honored their original contract, so we took that into consideration,” he added. This sale now does away with that ordinance.
Although the old council building was sold, the old hospital, we’re told, is still under contract.
Siders added that once the sale of the old County Building takes place, the sale of the County complex will come soon after. Once that happens, the company will go through the City and its processes to get the authority to move forward with their plans. So, it will take some time before you see construction cones in the area.