Offer made on old City Hall

Published 11:47 pm Saturday, June 21, 2014

TONY BLACK | DAILY NEWS HISTORIC: William Cummings made an official offer for the old City Hall Building to the City of Washington June 13. City council will choose to accept or decline his offer at Monday’s meeting.

HISTORIC: An official offer for the old City Hall Building was made  to the City of Washington on June 13. City council will choose to accept or decline the offer at Monday’s meeting.


The City of Washington recently received an official offer from a local man to purchase old City Hall.

William Cummings made an offer of $20,100 on the historic building in downtown Washington. At Monday’s Washington City Council meeting, council members will decide whether to accept Cummings’ offer or look for another bid.

For this process, the city did not set an asking price for the building. However, if city council accepts Cummings’ offer, it then becomes an upset bid process.

State law says during the upset bid process another purchaser has 10 days to offer at least 10 percent of the first $1,000 bid, plus five  percent above $1,000 of the original bid and a five-percent bid bond.

“I became interested in the building because it has a certain character to it,” Cummings said. “I grew up around a certain time period of architecture in Boston and it reminded me of that.”

Three years ago, Cummings retired and moved to Beaufort County from his native Boston.

“It is so early in the process that I have to study and figure out what works and fits best for the building,” Cummings said. “I want to get the building rehabilitated.”

According to city documents, old City Hall is zoned for commercial use. Cummings said in his letter to City Manager Brian Alligood that his plan is to refurbish it and turn it into a retail shop, office or hospitality.

The federal government would allow Cummings or another purchaser tax credits equal to 20 percent of the expenditures made in rehabilitation that qualify for federal credits on income-producing historic projects. Currently the state says a taxpayer’s expenses must surpass $25,000 within a two-year period in order to qualify for the tax credits.

Old City Hall has been vacant for the last 40 years, since the city government moved to its current location at 102 E. Second St. The structure was erected in 1883 and originally served as the municipal building and firehouse in the nineteenth century.



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