Bids for sale of county attorney's office open

AUTUMN OWENS/WD PHOTO

Precinct 1 Commissioner George Conley counting spaces in the area that the commissioners approved the leasing of up to 30 spaces to the purchaser of the county attorney’s office building.

The Parker County commissioners approved authorization to allow bids for the sale of the County Attorney’s Office building, 101 N. Main St., which includes a lease of county property for parking purposes at a special called meeting Monday morning. 

“We made this decision a long time ago, well I did. I’ve been wanting to sell it because it’s part of the revitalization of downtown,” County Judge Pat Deen said. “I think you can revitalize this area and stimulate the sales tax rate.”

The parking lease will be included in the sale of the county attorney’s office.

There was some debate on the leasing of the parking spaces, but a motion to approve was made by Precinct 4 Commissioner Steve Dugan and passed unanimously. 

The motion approved parking not to exceed 30 spaces, which is within the lot at the corner of York Avenue and Spring Street, with the purchase of the building. 

“The parking is to be established by the business that buys the building with no fences or barriers; only with signage saying it’s leased property for their parking. [It will be] three-year leases with two renewals if it’s agreeable to both parties,” Dugan said. “I think it should be offered 24/7 and if they’re going to use it less, then that’s fine, but I think the value of it should be established on 24/7 [use]. If we were in a real need of the space to ourselves, it would be a different story, but I think it’s valuable for us to offer that on the 24/7 basis if we want the potential full value of our building.”

The motion also included that is is assignable. 

“The only individual who can acquire this lease are individuals that are purchasing the building and using it only for the purposes of the building,” County Attorney John Forrest said. “We’re not going to restrict anyone from parking in the other areas. This is just specific to the sale of the building. There are two different entities that are interested [in the purchase], but that’s not to say there aren’t others out there that might be interested. But without parking, they would not be interested.”

Forrest said the reconfiguration of the square in the works by the city of Weatherford could impact continued need for parking in the future, but for now they need to have these spaces to lease with the sale of the building.

The project, Heritage Square Weatherford, was divided into three phases to divert thru-traffic away from the downtown area and move truck traffic to the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway outer loop, according to the city’s project website. In 2018, $11.5 million was awarded to the city of Weatherford with partnership from the North Central Texas Council of Governments and the Texas Department of Transportation for northern bypass only. This year engineers will begin a year-long process to determine schematic configuration for the northern bypass and in 2020 construction is expected to begin. Beyond 2020 has been undetermined at this time because funding has not been acquired, but the city is continuing to pursue funding options. 

“The business district down in the square continues to grow and they’re getting more and more of these events, so I think we just want to make sure they have those protected spots as that capacity continues to fill,” Deen said. 

With the motion being approved, the county will now begin the appraisal process for the parking spaces.