Franklin County commissioners are about to buy the former Gulf State Community Bank building in Eastpoint, and relocate some county departments there.
At a special meeting Aug. 23, commissioners gave the unanimous go-ahead to a possible purchase of the building, for roughly $1 million. Commissioner Noah Lockley was absent.
County Attorney Michael Shuler said he has been in contact with the current owners, Forgotten Coast Property Development, out of White, Georgia.
“We have worked through a few versions of how the contract should be formed and agreed upon a contract format,” he said.
He said the county would split appraisal and title insurance fees, which together would cost the county under $10,000.
He said the potential seller had lowered its asking price from $1.02 million, to $950,000, with the upper end at $1.17 million. The purchase price, based on the appraisal, would fall somewhere within that range, and if it didn’t, then either party could nix the deal, Shuler said.
The county’s plan for the building is to relocate the planning and zoning and building departments from the courthouse annex. That would leave room for the county elections office to relocate to the annex from its current site at Market Street and Avenue F, where it leases from Apalachicola businessman Harry Arnold.
Commissioners say that once the sale is complete, the county will be able to use the Gulf State Community Bank building on the corner of Highway 98 and Island Drive immediately, with possible future expansion for additional uses.
Forgotten Coast Property Development paid $600,000 in June 2022 when it bought it from Lindley Development LLC. That was the same price Lindley paid for the site when it purchased it in May 2016 from Gulf Vacay Inc.
The bank had gone into receivership with the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ) in Aug. 2011, after the bank had failed, and was later bought by John Spohrer for $450,000 and sold for the same price to Gulf Vacay.