(WBIR - Harriman) One building at a time, an East Tennessee community is getting closer to its vision for redeveloping historic properties.
Two months ago, a tour led potential buyers through Harriman's Prospect 14 properties. Now, the offers are coming in and the city's Industrial Development Board is choosing the best fit for the community.
"A revitalization process takes about 10 years and we're about eight years into it," said Mayor Chris Mason. "So we've got way too much time and money invested to turn around thus far."
Harriman's Industrial Development Board owns the 14 vacant buildings and that group is being very selective in who they allow to buy one.
Mayor Mason explained. "If somebody comes along and says they want to buy a piece of property and they're going to use it for storage and then somebody comes behind them and they're going to offer a lesser price for a better use, in other words they're going to put a little restaurant in, the restaurant is probably going to get it. It's going to be the best use, not necessarily the highest price."
Recently, offers on two of the 14 vacant properties have been accepted.
Mayor Mason said someone offered $38,000 for a brick house located at 319 Devonia Street. Mayor Mason said it will be used as a residential building.
A second offer of about $87,000 has been accepted for a building located at 307 Devonia Street. Mayor Mason said the offer was made by Ridgeview (Behavioral Health Services) and the company plans to use the building to expand office space.
One of the most important parts of Harriman's Prospect 14 is the former home to the Roane Medical Center. Its uses are limited due to its design. Mayor Mason said that's way the city of marketing the building across the nation to find a potential buyer.
"Somebody somewhere needs this building and so we're trying to get in touch with them and let them know it's a great opportunity," said Mayor Mason.
Harriman's Industrial Development Board has not been afraid to say "no" to prospective buyers. Mayor Mason said several other offers have been placed on vacant buildings and turned down, because the board did not feel those proposals met their vision of Historic Harriman.
For more information on the Prospect 14, go to www.prospect14.com.