CANTON — The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the sale of the Jones Building in downtown Canton to an Atlanta-based developer for $1.8 million at its meeting Tuesday.
The deal also includes reimbursement to Cherokee County for the removal of the building’s facade, which will cost an additional $200,000 to the purchasers.
County Manager Jerry Cooper said that the closing will occur within 45 days after the purchaser, Westbridge Partners, receives approval from the Georgia Historic Preservation Office to redevelop the property under the federal historic tax incentives program.
The board also voted unanimously to award a construction contract to Headley Construction to remove the metal and stucco veneer from the building to reveal brick and wood-framed windows beneath.
Headley Construction was awarded a contract of $179,000 to remove the exterior of the Jones Building. Additional costs include a construction contingency of $21,000 and interior abatement allowance of $25,000, which brought the total approved by the commission to $225,000.
“We believe we’ll need some of those funds to do asbestos abatement in the interior of the building, and possibly other environmental issues that we may have to address,” Cooper said.
Mayor Gene Hobgood said Wednesday the development of the former general store, which later housed the county’s administrative offices, might just give downtown Canton the boost it needs.
“That will, in my opinion, do as much for the city of Canton as anything has in quite a long time,” he said. “It’s going to
really be a plus for
The historic building was purchased by the county from the Jones family in the mid-1980s, and was most recently used as a county administrative building until the county moved to its new location on Bluffs Parkway in 2008.
A lifelong resident of the Canton area, Hobgood said downtown began to lose its former graces after Interstate 575 came to the city.
“When an interstate traverses through your county and your city, most of the time retail and outlets begin to flock toward it,” Hobgood said. “It’s been difficult to maintain downtown and keep it vibrant and moving forward.”
But he said the re-development of the Jones Building could help the city’s center get a bit more attention.
“We all ought to celebrate when the skin and facade starts coming off,” Hobgood said.