Henrietta Growth Corporation will spend up to $100,000 for a commercial building on the courthouse square, giving the economic development board an incentive to offer businesses looking to relocate to Henrietta.
The HGC Board of Directors approved a memorandum of understanding with Frank Douthitt for purchase of the Lawyers Building, located at 118 N. Bridge St., Monday night following a closed session. The HGC will allow the former district judge, who plans to retire this year, six months the vacate the building once the sale is finalized. The board is looking at a purchase date of June 1.
Douthitt purchased and refurbished the building in 1997 to house his law practice. According to Douthitt’s website, the building was constructed in 1887, and served a number of businesses.
Economic Development Director Rick Langford said the building is attractive to the HGC because it is an affordable property in a good location in the community.
“That has been one of my biggest drawbacks this year,” said Langford.
County Attorney Seth Slagle, who leases office space from Douthitt, was approved for a $2,500 facade grant through the HGC. Slagle recently purchased the former Citi Bank building, 111 S. Main St., from Glen and Kay Lynn Gonzenbach, and will move his law practice once renovations are complete. With the grant, Slagle will replace the building’s front awning.
In his report to the board, Langford said a company that has purchased a property east of Henrietta for a new manufacturing facility is facing challenges with infrastructure and water. The property, approximately 1,000 acres located on Hwy. 287 between Henrietta and Bellevue, was purchased by SFN and associates, a shell corporation.
Langford said he is working closely with the company, the county and the governor’s office to bring the company to Clay County, but could not discuss the project in detail due to a confidentiality agreement. Tax revenues from the proposed manufacturing facility would benefit the Henrietta and Bellevue school districts.
Blue Ridge Trailers, a company that manufactures aluminum cargo trailers, has started renovations to the former Silver Creek mobile home plant. The company hopes to be in production at the Henrietta facility by the end of January.