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Cheap, come get: City seeks buyer who will move house

Auctioneer Mark White will sell contents of house at 747 Sixth Avenue West on Saturday. Auctioneer Mark White will sell contents of house at 747 Sixth Avenue West on Saturday.

The city of Hendersonville is seeking offers from anyone willing to move a 3,200-square-foot home from a lot on Sixth Avenue West where a new health sciences building will be going up.

Under its part of a five-party agreement to build the new education and medical facility, the city of Hendersonville agreed to buy the one-acre lot and clear it before turning it over to the county, which will pay for and manage the construction.
City officials have discussed using a practice fire to remove the home or hiring a contractor to demolish it.
"We're actually talking about a third option," said City Manager John Connet said this week. "We would be willing to entertain a very reasonable offer to anyone that wanted to move it off that site since it is an older home."

If a house mover came forward with a price that would save the city money, "we'd probably have to go back to the council to declare it surplus property," Connet said. (For more information contact city Public Works Director Tom Wooten at 828-697-3000.)

A practice burn is still an option, too, said Fire Chief Dorian Flowers. The department would have to test for asbestos and remove it before burning the house. Even if the house is demolished, the city will have to remediate for asbestos, he said. Given the age of the house, it's like to contain some of the material, he said.

"The burn is still a possibility but a lot of things would have to happen before we could do that," he said.

"I would think it would be a logistically difficult thing to move it," Flowers said. A house mover would have to contract with Duke Energy to raise power lines.

Meanwhile, an auctioneer plans to sell the contents of the McCall house on Saturday, three days before the scheduled closing of the city's purchase of the property.

Auctioneer Mark White announced the sale in a flier that describes art, china, collections and furnishings. The McCall family has owned the home since Jesse McCall and his wife moved to Hendersonville from Transylvania County in 1946; it's now occupied by the eldest daughter of Jesse McCall, Sally McCall Dill, and her husband, David, and their son, Kerry.
A partial list of the contents, White said, includes Tiffany style lamps, marble top tables, Victorian furniture, brass and silver plates, statuary, oil paintings, Royal Albert china sets, crystal luster sets, clock sets, furniture, model car collections, angel collections, coral collections, ship collections and eagle collections.
The auction is at 10 a.m. Saturday with a preview at 8 a.m. Terms are cash or preapproved check. A 15 percent buyers premium goes to the auctioneer to cover costs.
"Tell them to come on out," Kerry Dill said. "The price is right."
The city is expected to close Tuesday on the $650,000 property purchase to make way for a 75,000-square-foot health sciences and medical office building to be used by Wingate and BRCC students and Pardee Hospital. Pardee officials said last month they plan to consolidate physician and treatment facilities into a cancer center on the first floor.
Under its agreement with Henderson County, the city must turn over the cleared one-acre lot to Henderson County on Sept. 1. Henderson County plans to hire a contractor, who will start work in January 2015.
Although property records show that the house was built in 1930, McCall family members say the dwelling dates to 1906. It was originally built by a branch of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina as a summer retreat, family members say, and may have served as a boarding house before it was the McCall home for the past 68 years.

Tax records show there were two upstairs apartments, although they have not been rented in recent years. The property is valued at $641,200. The house itself has been "referenced off," according to the tax assessor's office, meaning it was not given a value because the land is as valuable without the structure as with it.