CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After more than a year on the market, realtors now plan to sell West Virginia Housing Development Fund's vacant four-story former headquarters building along Virginia Street at auction Aug. 1.
The fund's board of directors voted last April to sell the 109-year-old building at 814 Virginia St. East. The Housing Development Fund has been operating out of new headquarters in Kanawha City since August 2011.
The board hired Charleston commercial real estate firm Goldman Associates Inc. to sell the 31,680-square-foot building. The building was put on the market with an asking price of $1.1 million, which was based on a 2010 appraisal of the property value.
Goldman Associates president Jay Goldman said the property initially attracted some interest, but that eventually evaporated.
Now the board has decided to take a new marketing strategy and put the building up for auction.
Goldman said that while the board was content to use the traditional selling practice of listing the property on the market at first, they are now more interested in getting the property off of their balance sheet.
"They've looked at its book value and their objective is to eliminate the holding costs, which would include insurance, upkeep and maintenance on the elevator and stuff like that," Goldman said.
The Housing Development Fund purchased the property for around $1 million in the early 1980s. While the building was more than a century old, it had been modernized in the 1970s.
When Goldman Associates first bid to become realtor for the property, they noted some upgrades were needed.
Those included replacing the current 40-year-old heating and cooling system, upgrading the electrical system and replacing the building's elevator. The firm estimated a buyer would need to invest $800,000 to $1 million to renovate and modernize the building.
However, officials said those potential repairs were factored in to the original $1.1 million appraisal price of the building.
Even though it needs some upgrades to its systems, Goldman said the building is in good condition for potential buyers.
"It's got restrooms on each floor, kitchenettes, dumb waiter. . . a reception area where you could place a secretary," he said. "It's a very nice building."