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Town names first Garrell Depot tenant, agrees to buy & raze adjacent building


     With plans to move its Sylva based railroad repair, restoration and training business to the Emerson area near Tabor City, Steam Services of America is now poised to be the first tenant of the recently completed Garrell Depot in downtown Tabor City.

     Town Council members quickly, and without discussion, agreed Tuesday to instruct the town manager and town attorney to negotiate a one-year lease of offices in the depot for SSOA.

It’s seen better days, and this former gas station on East 5th Street will be purchased and demolished, Tabor City Town Council members agreed Tuesday. Work on the adjacent Garrell Depot parking lot continues, as seen above. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

    Council also agreed to buy an adjacent dilapidated structure, a former gas station that abuts the Garrell Depot parking lot now

     SSOA’s plans were revealed late last month, with a $9 million grant to the town government to acquire property and extend nearby railroad tracks at Emerson for the rail firm’s operations.

     After meeting less than a half-hour in closed session to discuss property acquisition, council agreed to buy the land and building from Esteban Mendez Jr. of Little River for $27,000, and spend another $17,000 to demolish the building.

     State Rep. Brenden Jones, who shepherded that grant through the legislative process, is expected in Tabor City at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, for a ceremony welcoming SSOA and its president Robert Franzen to the community, Town Manager Al Leonard told council later during Tuesday’s meeting.

     Look for more on this story, and details from Tuesday’s Tabor City Council meeting, in this week’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.