The Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce building could be seeing new ownership in the next couple of months if plans move forward as they were presented Thursday to the chamber Board of Directors.
Downtown business owners Don Hudson and Will Shover of Rhythm on Main have presented an offer to purchase the building from the chamber of commerce in order to have office space for Dance Machine Productions. The company, of which Shover is president and CEO, produces dance competitions and events “up and down the East Coast and Midwest,” according to Shover.
During Thursday’s board meeting, Chamber Chairman Steve Owings explained to the directors that the town of Elkin has plans to turn the former Smith-Phillips building into a cultural and trails center and the chamber would move into that facility and operate it in exchange for rent.
Town Manager Lloyd Payne told the board that decisions still have to be made about the Smith-Phillips building, for instance, whether to keep the existing structure and update it or flatten it and build a new structure. No timeline has been set for the project, which is pending available funding to the town.
The question had been raised, if the chamber moves into the Smith-Phillips location, what happens to the existing building owned by the chamber?
With that in mind, Shover and Hudson were looking for room to expand the Dance Machine Productions offices, and they made a formal offer on the chamber building.
In the proposed sale agreement, the Yadkin Valley Chamber would be allowed to remain in the building until completion of the trails center, Owings said. The chamber would have free rent for the first three years of the arrangement, and then if it is still in the building at the end of three years, rent would be charged at $500 per month.
Owings said the $500 rent is still much less than what is being spent now to keep up and own the facility.
Shover and Hudson took the opportunity in front of the board, and any other chamber members who opted to attend the meeting, to explain what their plans for the building will be.
They said they didn’t just plan to move their offices into the building. They also want to make the building more eye-appealing to downtown, which faces the back of the buiding, by starting “from the ground up,” said Hudson.
Plans include painting and updating the building, and Hudson will use his skills to upgrade the conference room in the chamber, which would be open to the public for use on a reservations basis, to include technology hookups, projector screens and other tech-age additions. The duo said plans include free wifi with antennas being on the front of the building facing Town Hall so that those selling at the farmers market could access it for money exchanges.
The offer is being reviewed by an attorney for the chamber now, Owings said, and if all is in order, the entire chamber membership will have an opportunity to vote for or against the sale, with hopes for a closing by the end of September.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.