BY JENNIFER CABRERA
At the Alachua County Commission meeting on June 8, the Board decided against exercising their option to purchase the Fellowship Baptist Church property in High Springs.
The purchase price in the option contract was $3.3 million, but the average of the appraisals is $2,187,800. The appraisals did not included the repairs needed for ADA compliance and other necessary repairs, which are expected to cost approximately $525,000. Deducting those costs from the appraisal value would bring the price to about $1.65 million.
At a previous meeting, staff were instructed to go back to the seller and see if they were willing to reduce the price, but no response was received from the seller.
Multiple commissioners said they would be interested in reopening negotiations if the price were reduced under $2 million. Chair Ken Cornell specifically said he favored a price of $1,925,000. He also said he hoped they would be able to use American Rescue Plan funds for the purchase.
Commissioner Anna Prizzia said she was still in favor of letting the option expire: “I mean, clearly if the seller was super interested in having a conversation with us, they would probably be here today. And/or they would have responded to our request for coming back to the table, neither of which has happened… The universe is telling me maybe this isn’t the right spot, and if it is, maybe the sellers will come back and have a conversation with us that’ll bring it back to a more reasonable position.”
No motion was made, effectively allowing the option to expire.