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‘Bargain’ pricetag for empty council building

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By Rod Edgar
Annan and Eskdale
‘Bargain’ pricetag for empty council building

A LARGE vacant property in the centre of Annan is on the brink of being sold off to a local business.

FOR SALE . . . the former Cornerstone building in Annan’s Bank Street is set to be sold off at an ‘absolute bargain’ price

But Dumfries and Galloway Council’s budget cuts has prompted a suggestion the former Cornerstone premises at 29 Bank Street may be going for much less than its true value.
Addressing a top bid of £105,000 for the property, Councillor Ian Carruthers said: “I know back in the mid-80s there was over £300,000 of investment in the building at that time, and it’s been refurbished again since then.
“Now obviously it’s on the market for offers over £105,000. It hasn’t reached that — it’s right on £105,000 —and I think the conditions attached to the offer of sale are quite onerous.”
Four offers have been received, and members of the council’s policy and resources committee will next week be recommended to accept the highest offer.
Backing the top £105,000 bid, Councillor Carruthers said: “It’s a business that’s
looking to take it, and that would potentially help that business move on in the local
area, and have wider economic benefits for Annan itself.”
However, an initial asking price of offers over £180,000 resulted in just one offer of
£100,00 in March 2014 which was rejected, and it was later readvertised at offers over £150,000, £125,000 and now ultimately£105,000.
Councillor Carruthers said: “This is an absolute bargain.”
Noting a council target to generate £500,000 a year in capital receipts through sales of its redundant properties, he added: “I think it does put pressure on the council, because they’re still trying to deliver services, there’s still a lot of cuts coming, the budgets being reduced every year as we go forward and will be for quite a few years to come.
“So I think if the council wasn’t under such financial pressure they’d probably be hanging out for a much higher sum.”
FOUR offers have been received for the former Cornerstone building in Annan’s Bank Street:-
■ a £1 offer from Community Asset Management (Dumfries & Galloway) Ltd, which is a property development and management social enterprise created by Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway
■ a cash offer of £50,000 not subject to planning
■ an offer for £60,000, subject to change of use to residential and vehicular access
■ an offer of £105,000 from a local business subject to survey, successful appeal against current rateable value, installation of electric gates and creation of parking area

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