Durham taxpayers’ little-used parking lot at 1111 W. Chapel Hill St. continues to rise in value, thanks to the competition of two prospective buyers.
The city put the .23-acre lot up for bids with a minimum of $37,000. As of Friday, the price was up to $60,000 offered by Self-Help, which wants it for an office-retail project. Next move is up to David Anthony, a neighboring property owner with ideas of his own.
“I’m checking my resources,” Anthony said.
Self-Help intends to use the lot for a 10,000-square foot retail building to be leased to Durham Central Market, a grocery co-op in need of a home.
Market President Beth Fowler has put out an appeal for member/investors at $50 a share, saying that DCM needs $600,000 more by Aug. 31 to break ground in Self-Help’s “Kent Corner” development this October.
In April, the City Council declared the lot surplus property and agreed to sell it to Self-Help, the Durham financial and community-uplift institution, for $37,000. However, surplus-property sales are subject to “upset bids” for a set period before a deal may be closed.
Anthony, and some other nearby residents, are not satisfied with commitments Self-Help has made for its project. Anthony has said he has several uses in mind for the parking lot, and has had talks with Self-Help about cooperation in its development.
Still, he topped Self-Help’s original price with an offer of $38,500. Self-Help offered $50,000. Anthony offered $52,550. Self-Help offered $60,000, and Anthony has until June 24 to make an upset bid of at least $63,050, said David Fleischer, manager of the city’s real-estate division.
Upset bidding may continue indefinitely.
“The numbers keep going up,” Anthony said.