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Old Jacobsen building goes for $450,000 in auction

The Homelite Jacobsen building on Industrial Park Road was soldfor $450,000 Thursday morning in auction.

Eight local and national bidders formed a circle aroundWingfield Auctions auctioneer Randy Wingfield Sr. for a biddingsession that was over in a few short moments. Wingfield started thebidding at $1 million – half of the building’s $2 million appraisedvalue – but lowered the starting price when there were notakers.

The actual bidding began at $200,000 and quickly climbed to thewinning bid in increments of $50,000.

The winner, Danny Nguyen of Houston, Texas, was all smiles afterthe congratulatory handshake closed the deal in his favor. He wason the phone to his headquarters immediately afterward, possiblydiscussing the unknown future of the Homelite Jacobsenbuilding.

“I don’t know (what the building will be used for),” Nguyensaid. “I was just sent here to look at it.”

Whatever the future of the building, Brookhaven-Lincoln CountyChamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Cliff Brumfield washappy to see the deal closed.

“The auction went very well,” he said. “We’re excited to see thebuilding bought by someone who can hopefully put it back into use.The winning bidder has not stated his intentions, other than he isquite pleased with his purchase.”

Thursday’s sale of the Homelite Jacobsen building puts thefacility in the hands of new ownership yet again. It has served asthe home of Johnson, Textron and the Wal-Mart Distribution Center.It has stood empty for 12 years since Wal-Mart moved out in1996.

“The owner has had the building on the market for a number ofyears now,” Brumfield said. “He has made improvements to the roofand other parts over the last year to make it more marketable.”

The 237,175-square-foot building was sold in a package with its21-acre lot and, after a few upgrades, will be ready for use. For apotential manufacturer, the building has some marks against it,such as age, layout and low ceiling height, but Brumfield pointedout other qualities that are in its favor.

“The building is an older facility in need of maintenance workrepairs and some improvements, but it is located in a communitywith a great quality of life, has a strong local labor force and isright on Canadian National Railroad main line,” he said. “Hopefullythe building can be cleaned up and utilized and, hopefully, thiswill turn out to be a win-win for the new tenant and the community.It puts the building one step closer to perhaps providingemployment, rather than sitting unused.”