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Pendleton County US Navy base up for auction

SUGAR GROVE, W.Va. — The General Services Administration has listed the former Sugar Grove Navy Base on its website as “Sugar Grove Station” and it’s up for an online auction with an opening bid of a million dollars.

As of Feb. 9, there were no bidders, with the remaining auction duration listed as “close time to be determined.” The property is described as “ideal for a corporate training center, a university or academic campus, a spa/clinic, movie studio or mountain resort” and a “wonderfully maintained, practically self-sustaining community nestled in the West Virginia mountains.”

KVC Health System’s consultant Thomas S. Bailey said Friday the Kansas-based firm is still pursuing an acquisition strategy for the base, which it wants to repurpose into a specialized career college for young adults emerging from foster care.

“We’re very interested and watching the auction process closely,” he said. “We’re looking at the property as it is today, understanding that most of the personal property or equipment has been dispersed. We’re trying to adjust our own business plans to factor in the auction.”

The GSA continues the description on the 122.85 acre grounds as including 80 single-family homes, A three-story; 45,424 square foot building with 53 small suites, which can accommodate 105 residents; An industrial kitchen; A dining room, laundry room and several lounge areas; A 20,000 square foot public works building with a loading dock/receiving space, maintenance offices and a gymnasium; A fire station with six bays, nine sleeping rooms, lounge and classroom/control room; A modern youth activity center; And a community center, which is complete with a bar area and adjacent to a covered picnic pavilion.

Recreational facilities include a playground and swimming pool; Basketball, tennis and racquetball courts; A running track; And football, soccer and baseball fields.

To bid, a deposit of $100,000 by cashier check is required. The amount will be applied to the purchase price or returned to anyone who does not win the bid. A 10 percent down payment is required within 10 business days of the GSA’s acceptance of the winning bid.

The Naval Information Operation Command Sugar Grove base was decommissioned Setp. 30 by the Navy. The facility was turned down Sept. 4 by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to repurpose the facility as a women’s prison.

Federal and state agencies also have declined taking over the facility, which employed about 300 people and has an estimated worth of more than $200 million.

The GSA is charged with helping federal agencies by offering, at best value, surplus federal real estate for public use.

If a federal agency no longer needs a property to carry out its program, it reports the property as “excess.” GSA first offers excess property to other Federal agencies for transfer.

If there is no further need within the Federal Government, the property is determined “surplus” and may be made available for other uses through public benefit conveyance, negotiated sales or public sales.

A “negotiated sale” is a transaction in which the federal government offers state and local governments the right to purchase property at appraised fair market value before it is offered to the general public. The property must be for a public purpose or economic development use.

KVC worked with the Pendleton County Economic and Community Development Authority(PCECDA) to arrange a negotiated sale, which fell through when KVC did not meet a GSA deadline to submit a purchase offer. The PCEDA then severed all obligations with KVC on any negotiated sale for the purchase of the former Navy Base.

Since state and local governments did not want the property, the GSA is disposing of it through auction.

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