Johnston County Commissioners voted Monday night to purchase the former K-Mart building in West Smithfield.
The K-Mart store was built in 1978 and was closed in 2013.
Commissioners agreed to pay $350,000 for the 40,696 square foot building which has a tax value of $1,112,290 and includes 4.31 acres of land.
Johnston County Manager Rick Hester said the county plans to use the facility as a satellite office of the Johnston County Department of Social Services. The contract with property owner, KMSmithfield, LLC of Los Angeles, CA, gives the county a 150 day due diligence period to inspect the site and make sure it will be suitable for upgrades. The county paid KMSmithfield $5,000 for the 150 day option on the property.
If the site is found unsuitable the county can void the contract before the end of the 150 day period. If the county finds the site suitable, the contract requires a closing with 90 days after the due diligence period expires.
If purchased by Johnston County, it would eliminate $15,015.91 in property taxes paid by the company annually, of which $6,340.05 goes to the Town of Smithfield.
Officials said the purchase option is for the K-Mart portion of the building only and not the section formerly occupied by Heilig Myers, which closed in 2000 when the company filed for bankruptcy.