LUMBERTON — The Angel Exchange property near Pembroke will be up for sale on Aug. 6 and the building’s owners have been ordered to pay more than $50,000 as the result of legal action taken by the owners of COMtech Business Park.
The public sale is to take place at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Robeson County Courthouse, according to court documents obtained at the Robeson County Clerk of Court office. For sale will be the 31,951-square-foot building and the accompanying 28.678 acres of land.
The sale is part of a judgment handed down from Superior Court on Feb. 12. The judgment also orders the building’s owner, Angel Exchange LLC, to pay Carolina Commerce and Technology Inc. $57,710.30 and attorneys fees.
When asked for information and comments concerning the legal action and pending sale, COMtech Business Park Executive Director Alan Fowlkes referred all questions to J. Matthew Waters, an attorney with the law offices of Jordan, Price, Wall Gray, Jones & Carlton in Raleigh. When contacted, Waters said he could not comment.
Robeson County Manager Ricky Harris referred all questions to Fowlkes. Harris did say the county was not involved in the legal proceedings despite the fact that former County Manager Patrick Pait was listed at one point as a co-counsel representing COMtech. Pait, who died June 3 in an traffic accident, filed for and was granted on Feb. 12 permission to be withdrawn as co-counsel.
In documents filed in Superior Court, COMtech argued it had the right to seek foreclosure and monetary compensation because Angel Exchange was part of the business park and was obligated to abide by park covenants, which included the “payment of periodic maintenance and security fees” to COMtech. COMtech alleged that failure to pay the fees was a breach of contract.
Angel Exchange’s owners also owe a little more than $50,000 in back taxes to the county, according to the Robeson County Tax Office. It was announced in March that the county had begun forcibly collecting some of the delinquent property taxes by garnishing rent the school system was paying for using the building as a central office.
The legal proceedings and pending sale is the latest chapter in the public saga of Angel Exchange.
The Robeson County Board of Commissioners voted in January to buy the building for use as a Public Schools of Robeson County central office complex. The asking price for the building and land at the time was $6 million.
The move sparked a public debate, and the county’s offer to let the PSRC staff occupy the building was refused by school district leaders. The school system has since acquired the former BB&T service center on Kahn Drive in Lumberton for use as a central office complex until a permanent facility can be built. District leaders say staff should be completely moved into the building by July 26.
The commissioners just dropped the conversation, never saying publicly that their pursuit had ended. It began with a 4 to 3 vote that was taken when Commissioner David Edge, who was opposed, was absent. Commissioners Raymond Cummings, Roger Oxendine, Berlester Campbell and Jerry Stephens voted in favor.
Reach T.C. Hunter by calling 910-816-1974 or via email at [email protected]