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Real Estate - Commercial

Doctors Offer More Than $1M For Former Library Property

By Cece Nunn, posted Oct 31, 2019
Primary Care Associates, a limited liability company organized by a group of doctors, wants to purchase the former public library site next to an existing New Hanover Medical Group property. (Google photo)
A limited liability company organized by doctors wants to buy a county-owned South College Road property for more than $1 million.

The New Hanover County site used to hold a public library, and the sale would be contingent upon approval from county officials and the result of a 10-day upset bid period.

Primary Care Associates LLC bid $1.24 million for the acre at 5155 S. College Road. The site, formerly home to the Myrtle Grove branch of the New Hanover County Public Library, includes the 6,800-square-foot former library building and a small storage building.

The LLC also owns the  New Hanover Medical Group office at 5145 S. College Road, next to the county-owned property, along with the other three NHMG offices in town.

"Basically, there's two main reasons why we've put an offer in on that property. One is we'd really like to own the property contiguous to ours so we can allow egress and ingress at a traffic light," said Jeffrey Warhaftig, a doctor with New Hanover Medical Group, which is part of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Physician Group. 

Warhaftig, who is also managing partner for Primary Care Associates, said those who need to get to 5145 S. College Road have to make a u-turn on the busy thoroughfare.

"WIth the amount of traffic we have at our office, it's a safety issue," Warhaftig said.

Another reason for the potential purchase: "There's a lot of growth in our county. As a practice, we are continuing to expand to keep up with the growth of the community," Warhaftig said. "So what we're trying to do is purchase this property to move some of our non-patient care activities out of the [other offices] so that we can add more providers in the offices themselves."

The property was advertised for sale the week of Sept. 16 with a minimum required bid of $1.2 million due Oct. 18. The tax value is $1.027 million.

"As part of the project budget ordinance for the Pine Valley Library [a new facility that replaced the Myrtle Grove branch], it was anticipated that the proceeds from the sale of this property would be used to offset a portion of the construction costs of the Pine Valley Library," according to agenda documents for the Nov. 4 New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting. "In preparation for the sale of this property, commissioners rezoned this property on April 1, 2019 from R-15, Residential District, to (CZD) B-2, Conditional Highway Business District."  

The agenda item recommends that county officials approve the sale. To complete it, however, the county has to initiate and complete an upset bid process.
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