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City of Dothan wants to purchase Farm Center

Commissioner John Ferguson proposed the city would pay $2.5 million, the original asking price, to purchase the 38-acre site.
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 11:52 AM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -Just before Dothan City commissioners adjourned their final meeting of 2021 on Tuesday there came a bombshell---a proposal for the city to purchase land that Houston County plans to sell to an out-of-state developer.

City Commissioner John Ferguson proposed the city pay $2.5 million, the original asking price, to purchase the 38-acre Farm Center site. After brief discussion, city commissioners unanimously approved his proposal.

“Ultimately, we wanted control of the property to make sure something that is a fit for Dothan goes in there. I’m happy the city came together to make this decision”, District 5 Commissioner Gantt Pierce said.

On paper, the city already owns 16 percent of the Farm Center property, though it’s unclear whether municipal funds paid a percentage of the purchase when that transaction occurred over 60 years ago.

County commissioners voted last week to sell the property to Bright Work, a Florida real estate company, for an undisclosed price that is believed to be about $2.2 million.

To finalize that sale, the county needs a quit claim deed from the city for its percentage of the property, something County Chairman Mark Culver believed would be a formality.

Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba said if the city purchases the property it could still sell it to Bright Work, but he has not spoken to the company. .

Bright Work plans to construct a commercial development along Ross Clark Circle and Cottonwood Road, per Culver, who could not immediately be reached for comment on the city’s offer that is contingent on due diligence.

The Farm Center arenas are unfit for use and the larger arena has been a storage area for years.

(This story updated to include Commissioner Gantt Pierce’s comments).

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