Stores In Million-Dollar Secret Bidding War For City Land

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Two well-known convenience stores are suddenly in a million-dollar bidding war for a former Tyson Foods piece of property owned by the City of Fayetteville.

The Fayetteville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to table $1 million offers from Kum & Go and Casey’s General Store for a two-acre piece of property at 1851 E. Huntsville Road, a spot that previously housed a Tyson Mexican Original taco and corn chip factory.

The council voted to open the site to a sealed bidding process, in which each company would submit a secret offer to the city before the next City Council meeting Feb. 5, which could push the property’s cost well above $1 million.

The land is part of a larger 11-acre campus the city bought in 2004 for $1.1 million. The city later built a fire station on the property, but the old Tyson structure still stands. The proposed site purchase does not include land on which the factory structure stands.

The council had planned to potentially decide Tuesday whether to sell the site to Kum & Go for $900,000, as well as one-quarter of the cost for the demolition of the Tyson factory. Representatives for Casey’s General Store submitted a last-minute offer of $1 million, spurring Kum & Go to increase its offer to $1 million.

The city estimates full demolition and removal of the Tyson plant could cost about $475,000. The money left over from the purchase could be placed into an ailing city budget, which has been cut more than $2 million, according to a letter City Attorney Kit Williams sent to council members concerning the land deal.

Trespassers have stripped the metals and valuables out of the building, according to the city.

“Our police frequently have been called to the site for ongoing problems and safety issues,” Williams’ letter states. “I believe the mayor and many aldermen will be glad that we can finally remove the unattractive hulk and return some of this property into productive use.”

The Kum & Go representative told aldermen he feels like the company puts months of work into the deal, just to be suddenly outbid at the last minute. The Casey’s representative said the convenience store could be a welcomed addition to the area.