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HILLSVILLE — Carroll officials want to see if there’s more interest in 91 acres of county-owned land than the only proposal so far — to build a 600-seat music venue and related developments.
County supervisors and members of the Industrial Development Authority, in a joint meeting Thursday, agreed to seek assistance in marketing the land in question near the Interstate 77-U.S. 58 interchange, said Supervisors’ Chairman Sam Dickson.
County officials had requested proposals for developing the property to boost Carroll’s revenue, the local job base and tourism in the region.
The advertisements resulted in only one response, from partners Weststar Investments and Mended Wings Productions. They had previously expressed interest in building the Mayberry Opry Theater, a five-story hotel, a 100,000-square-foot outlet mall and a micro-business park.
But in the face of concerns arising in the public from citizens like Mike Goldwasser about the process, Dickson said that developer Marshall Lineberry had suggested extending the period of time that the county would receive proposals on the land for another 45 days to see if there’s more interest out there.
Lineberry also suggested having a public hearing on the matter.
With these suggestions in mind, the county officials plan to advertise the land — this time probably through a firm that specializes in commercial real estate — to see what the options are and seek more parties that may want to get involved, Dickson said.
“We can advertise locally, but these guys have a big clientele and they know how it get it out there,” the supervisors’ chairman explained.
The county officials put no timeline on the new round of marketing.
As one of the partners in the opry proposal made the suggestion, county officials feel like they have the support from the developers to take this action, Dickson said. The opry developers will also be able to refine their proposal, if they so wish.
County officials don’t want to act hastily in any decision that they make, he noted. And they want to make sure that anything that may happen is in the best interest of Carroll and its citizens.
The best deal in job creation and new revenue and the most beneficial proposal is what the supervisors want. With only one proposal coming in, county officials had nothing else to compare it to, Dickson explained.
“We don’t want to get in too big a hurry,” he said. “We want something to happen, but it doesn’t have to be tomorrow.”