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Lowe's declines to lift Jonesborough property restrictions

Robert Houk • Dec 11, 2018 at 8:30 PM

Lowe’s Home Improvement corporate leaders have declined to remove restrictions from the sale of property next to Jonesborough Elementary School — land the Washington County Board of Education has said is key to its Scheme 6 plan for a new K-8 school.

Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy said Tuesday representatives for Joe McCoy, who has agreed to sell the 15-acre tract to the county for $777,900, have heard from Lowe’s officials who told them the company’s board of directors decided last week not to remove restrictions from the sale of the property. Grandy said Lowe’s officials have indicated the company would prefer to see the tract sold for a commercial development, such as a shopping center.

“McCoy has sent them information about the plans for the school,” Grady said. “They (Lowe’s) will only deal with the seller. At this point we have nothing from them in writing.”

McCoy has asked the nearby Lowe’s Home Improvement store to remove restrictions that it asked to be attached to purchase of the remaining tract when it bought its land from him several years ago. Under those restrictions, Lowe’s has the right to pre-approve any construction — be it for a building or a road — on the tract.

No such plan could be reviewed by Lowe’s until the county Board of Education finally voted in early October to approve Scheme 6, which calls for renovating the current Jonesborough Middle School and adding about 64,000 square feet to the building. School officials say the McCoy property is key to Scheme 6 because it will be used to create a new road for a bus loading and unloading zone with access to Main Street in Jonesborough.

Washington County commissioners first voted In January 2017 to authorize the county mayor to buy the property for the county school system.

County commissioners will consider a resolution Monday to extend the purchase option on the McCoy property by another 90 days while officials deal with the legal restrictions placed on the sale. Commissioners voted 20-3 in June to extend the purchase agreement for a sixth time.

That purchase option expires Dec. 31.

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