No bidders again: Can Mohave County sell this building?
County leaders say it would cost too much to fix it
KINGMAN - A county-owned building in the historic downtown district that fell into exorbitant disrepair received no bids during an auction this month.
The 0.72-acre community business-zoned Arnold Plaza property, at 301 and 303 Oak St. and one block north of Beale Street, was advertised to be sold "as is" at a minimum $65,000 bid with no warranties to its condition.
Although four interested buyers inspected the property in February and March, two of them were no-call, no-shows on bidder day, said Annie Newton-Fruhwirth with Mohave County's Procurement Department.
The other two called the county and said they would not be able to make it due to extenuating circumstances, said Newton-Fruhwirth.
The same outcome occurred during an October auction, and Newton-Fruhwirth said the four visits were the result of farther-reaching advertisements.
"There will be an action item on the upcoming Board of Supervisors agenda, asking the board's direction on the property," said Newton-Fruhwirth. "We're hoping that we can still do something with the property that's going to be beneficial to all."
Supervisors said last year it's the county's fault for allowing the building to fall into such disrepair. They are reluctant to spend the money required to bring the building up to code.
Since this month's auction, the county received no follow-up calls regarding the two-parcel property and building, which the county estimates would cost $2 million to remodel for general office use, $600,000 to demolish, $200,000 to replace the roof to stop leaks, and $180,000 to clear the building of asbestos.
Arnold Plaza was built in 1963 by Dr. A. A. Arnold and initially housed a title company, a doctor's office, a construction company and several other businesses, including First Navajo National Bank and Mohave Savings and Loan Association.
Mohave County has owned Arnold Plaza for more than 25 years, and vacated the building in 2005 when the new county complex was completed, consolidating most of the county departments into one building.
Arnold Plaza has been vacant since October 2005.
Any renovations or repairs that create exposure to asbestos would require abatement, according to the county, and the building is not habitable in its current condition.
Utilities available to the building include city water and sewer, electricity, phone and cable, according to the county.
The next supervisors meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. April 21 at the Mohave County Administration Building in the Board of Supervisors Auditorium.