The Statesville City Council voted Monday night to sell property along Interstate 40 to a company planning to build a hotel at the site.

Reversing a decision from last month, council members voted 6 to 2 to sell two lots off Free Nancy Avenue to Jai Amba Maa (JAM) Hospitality for $650,000.

The property, which was donated to the city, is currently being leased to Lane Construction Co. as a work site for the I-77/I-40 project. About half of the property, which is the former site of a movie theater, is located in a floodplain.

After JAM Hospitality, which owns and manages hotels in Statesville and Greensboro, submitted the bid for the property, city officials advertised the property for sale and did not receive a higher bid.

Councilman C.O. Johnson again voiced his objection to the proposed sale, arguing that the city should have had the property appraised to determine if $650,000 was a fair price.

“That’s pretty cheap for that land,” he said.

The approved bid was $265,000 over the property’s tax value, according to city officials.

Staff followed city policy for selling property and listed the site on the Multiple Listing Service, which made the property listing available to real estate professionals around the world. About 50 agents viewed the property, city officials said.

Councilman Frederick Foster made the motion to sell the property after council members agreed to revisit the sale during Monday’s meeting. The motion passed with councilmen C.O. Johnson and Steve Johnson opposing the motion.

As a condition of the sale, the new owner will provide access to and parking spaces for the city’s greenway.

During earlier discussions, council members said $100,000 of the proceeds from the sale could be used to fund an affordable housing initiative. The council did not take action Monday allocating any of the proceeds for any purpose.

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