The Town of Garner hasn’t bought any properties downtown yet since refocusing its efforts after passage of bond issue last March. But it is one property closer to getting the land it needs.
Sherman Yeargan Jr. donated the 1.53-acre property at 225 Montague St. to the town, leaving the town to negotiate for eight more parcels before it can begin planning a new recreation center and, it hopes, a new regional library branch.
Negotiations on other properties continue, and town leaders believe there could be action in the coming weeks.
Yeargan, an attorney who owns dozens of properties in Garner, officially transferred the land, valued at $60,000, on May 28 to the town from his charity the Yeargan Foundation Charitable Trust. It had been listed as being owned by Sherman A. Yeargan Jr. until May 17, according to Wake County property records. Yeargan also owns land targeted for development in a vast expansion of the White Oak Crossing shopping center.
Garner Revitalization Association executive director John Hodges said the town was asked not to publicize the gift.
“The person that donated the land wished not to receive any notoriety or attention for that gift. They requested no public announcement be made,” Hodges said.
Hodges said that any town purchases of land would be put on a town council agenda, but because the land was donated it was not necessary.
The acquisition leaves properties at 104, 106, 108, 110 and 114 Purvis St. as well as 207, 209 and 211 Main St. to be purchased before the town has all the land it says it needs for the recreation center. According to property records, none of those buildings are owner-occupied.
The town owns eight parcels on that block now. The bond authorized it to borrow plenty of money to purchase the remaining land if it sells near tax value.
“We’re in simultaneous discussions with several folks,” Hodges said, adding that because of ongoing negotiations, he couldn’t go into further detail. “I think we’ll have some info in the next few weeks.”
The town also plans to purchase property on Purvis Street to extend that road south to an intersection with U.S. 70. That would create another access point from the heavily traveled road to what Garner hopes will soon be a revitalized downtown.