Armory PurchaseCharlotte City Council members toured the former Army National Guard Armory on Wednesday, Feb. 4 in an effort to get more information regarding the city’s potential purchase of the building. The council voted 6-to-1 in early December to enter into a $237,000 purchase agreement for the property.
Council, however, has requested more time and information before making a final decision, which must be made by Feb. 20. If the council decides to move forward with the purchase, no further action is needed. However, the council would most likely vote at its Feb. 9 meeting whether or not to proceed. The purchase agreement provided a 45-day out clause for the city, which allowed for the council and city officials to perform their due diligence.
“It’s what I expected from an older building,” said councilmember Lloyd Conway after touring the facility. “I didn’t see anything that got me thinking, ‘oh my God no.’ It’s still in the running. The question is if this is a better option than building a pole barn in a separate place.”
DPW Director Amy Gilson said the Armory provides many opportunities, many of which aren’t limited to storage. Its major function, however, would be for the storage of DPW equipment and secure storage space for the Charlotte Police Department.
The two main storage areas in the building provide more than 10,000 square feet of storage space in addition to several offices and potential community space. The building, in its entirety, offers 23,723 square feet of space.
The east end of the facility provides space that could be utilized by the community, including a large meeting space and a second-floor gymnasium.
City Manager Gregg Guetschow said the city has estimated it needs between 11,500 and 14,500 square feet of storage space to alleviate congestion that currently exists.
“We would be looking at constructing a building of similar size,” Guetschow said, if the city council were to vote the purchase down. “We would have a new building, but it would be nowhere near the caliber of this building.”
Guetschow provided City Council with a detailed analysis of the Armory building, costs associated with its upkeep and purchase as well as alternative uses for the property and a cost analysis of building a completely new structure. The 17-page report is available for review on the city’s website: