MARIETTA — Cobb County is planning to sell its former elections building on Waddell Street for $450,000.
The Cobb Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote tonight to approve the sale of the 0.75-acre tract of land, which formerly housed the county’s Board of Elections.
The property is set to be purchased by Interra Property Group LLC through McWhirter Realty Partners, according to the meeting agenda.
The former elections building was built in 1955 and is about 14,000 square feet, according to the Cobb County Tax Assessor’s Office. The county purchased the property in 1996, records show.
The elections board moved out of the building and into its new offices at the West Park Government Center on Whitlock Avenue about seven years ago, according to AikWah Leow, spokesperson for the county.
County Manager David Hankerson said commissioners authorized putting the property on the market some time ago.
“The board had authorized us to surplus it years ago,” Hankerson said. “Only the board can surplus property when it’s no longer needed. And then the property advisory committee can advise and make recommendations back to the board.”
The county’s property advisory committee’s purpose is to study and make recommendations to the commissioners for the use and sale of county-owned property. Hankerson is the chairman of the committee.
After the elections board moved, the county had to decide what to do with the old building, Hankerson said. “We had it appraised because we were in a dilemma: The building is in need of repair, and we’re
going to have to make a decision as to whether we would invest a substantial amount of money in it or sell it or lease it,” he said.
Dan Buyer, with McWhirter Realty, said the building will need major renovations, including a new roof, electrical work and new plumbing. It will cost the new owner between $90 and $100 per square foot for all the necessary work, he added.
Buyer also said the County Tax Assessor’s record is inaccurate; the building is actually 12,123 square feet. Because the county doesn’t collect taxes on buildings it owns, it is likely the assessor didn’t pay much attention to the record, he said.
Cobb County was planning on selling the property after the elections board moved out, but as it was preparing to sell, the economic recession hit, according to Jim Pehrson, director of finances for the county and member of the property committee.
“It was about that time that the economy tanked, and we never sold the properties. And this is one of those properties that was scheduled to be sold to help pay for the Powder Springs station,” he said. “We just didn’t want to take a hit on selling properties, so we decided that it was best to sit back and wait for the market to recover,” he said.