Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Technorati button
Reddit button
Myspace button
Linkedin button
Webonews button
Delicious button
Digg button
Flickr button
Stumbleupon button
Newsvine button

Plans fall through for former City Club

Two men known for restoring a historic Gastonia home had their eyes set on the defunct City Club, but negotiations failed after the couple couldn’t agree with the bank on a fair price.

Dwayne and Brian Johnpaoli considered buying The City Club, which has been closed for more than a year. The couple made a lower-than-listed bid for the property because they said an inspection revealed the need for extensive work.

That bid was rejected, and New Dominion Bank is back to the drawing board to find a buyer.

“We tried to make the sale happen, and we just couldn’t get it done,” said Greg Burke, the bank’s executive vice president.


Heart for renovation

The Johnpaolis appreciate Gastonia history.

They bought and restored the Rankin-Mercer House on South York Road where they now live and host charity events. The couple decided to purchase another property to potentially separate those social gatherings from their living space.

The men put the South New Hope Road property under contract in the spring and called in an inspec-tor to evaluate the condition of The City Club.

Dwayne Johnpaoli said he remembers walking into the basement, where it appeared the walls were covered with toilet paper. It was actually mold, he said.

The mold needs to be removed, inactive termite damage has to be repaired, plumbing needs to be re-placed and a new roof should be put on, Johnpaoli said.

The repairs would top $300,000, according to Johnpaoli.


Cost of repairs

Johnpaoli said he and his partner initially offered to pay $400,000 for The City Club. The asking price is $599,900.

The men lowered their offer to $275,000 when they got the estimate for repairs.

According to Johnpaoli, the bank rejected the offer so the men are now looking elsewhere.

Their contract on the building ended June 18, he said.

“It’s very disappointing, but what can you do? You can’t make the bank take less than they want for it,” he said. “Maybe it is worth more, but there are so many repairs needed.”

Burke said that the property obviously needs some work, but he’s not convinced that Johnpaoli’s estimate is accurate.

He said that some of the repairs are optional.


Auctioning off contents

The City Club was founded in 1985, but the structure originally served as a home when it was built nearly 100 years ago.

As a private club, the building saw members stop in for meals and social gatherings.

The business fell into foreclosure in 2012 and closed March 2013. The property went on the auction block two months later and that’s when New Dominion Bank took over.

The 12,258-square-foot building was listed with Coldwell Banker Commercial realty about a year ago.

The bank has organized an auction for Sept. 6 to sell off the contents of the building.

Burke said that the auction is a step toward repurposing the former social club.


Possible office space

The property’s Realtor, Eric Clay, said he’s had interested parties talk about buying The City Club to reopen for events.

None of those talks have come to fruition.

Burke said that’s a sign that maybe the former club would better serve a different purpose.

Once the contents are auctioned off, Burke said he’ll call in an architect. The idea is that the building would be best suited for office space.

“It’s a great location. We hate that it couldn’t sell and continue as the club, but that’s just the reality of the marketplace right now,” he said.

Ultimately, New Dominion wants to sell the building. But if potential tenants show enough interest the bank could act as a landlord until a purchaser is found, Burke said.


‘I hope somebody … saves that building’

The Johnpaolis had hoped to reopen The City Club by October or November.

They’re known for providing a holiday dinner for the less fortunate and thought the event could move into The City Club this year.

Instead, the partners are looking at another old home in Gastonia.

They might buy that place, renovate it and move so that the Rankin-Mercer House can be used solely for event space, Dwayne Johnpaoli said.

He said they hope that The City Club can still serve the community that cherishes it.

“I think it is a beautiful property, and I think it could benefit our city,” he said. “I really hope that in the near future somebody steps up and steps in and saves that building.”

You can reach Diane Turbyfill at 704-869-1817 and

Article source:

Speak Your Mind