Former Belmont Middle School Building Set To Lead Commercial Expansion
Gaston County commissioners to consider $3.1 million bid for former Belmont Middle School
Gaston County commissioners appear set to consider a $3.1 million bid to buy the former Belmont Middle School.
Gastonia-based Kare Partners, a therapeutic rehabilitation company, made the apparent winning bid and plans to use the behemoth former schoolhouse not only as a therapy center for children, but also a space for several restaurants to use to create a food hall type of dining experience.
"The main objective of the building will be for it to become a safe place for children with disabilities," said Bob Fremgen, a marketing director for Kare Partners.
Though the main focus of the building's use will be for kids facing behavioral and intellectual disabilities, Fremgen said that anyone is welcomed.
The company plans to use the remainder space to house local restaurants muck like Optimist Hall in Charlotte, a food hall that offers customers several dine-in options from local restaurants.
Gaston County commissioners will be presented with Kare Partners' bid at its March 22 meeting. Two other developers made lower bids on the property, but no one made a higher one before a March 4 deadline.
Gaston County tax records list the property's value at $4.7 million. However, an appraisal done for the property has its value pegged at $1,923,000, in part because of the expense of renovating the more than 105,000-square-foot former schoolhouse.
Kare Partners owns several Compleat Rehab and Sports Therapy clinics located in China Grove, Gastonia, Huntersville, Lincolnton, Locust, Mint Hill, Mount Holly and Charlotte. Belmont resident Adi Khindaria launched the Compleat Rehab and Sports Therapy clinics in 2004, specializing in treatment services for pain, injuries and/or discomfort.
The company also owns Compleat KiDZ, a chain of health clinics that serve children with intellectual and behavioral disabilities, including a center in Belmont.
Compleat KIDZ bought the former Sleepy Poet antique consignment shop in downtown Gastonia last year. Renovation work on that building should be finished by May, according to the company.
Former Belmont Middle School
The brick school dominates Belmont's North Central Avenue. Generations of Belmont residents attended school there for more than 80 years.
The school closed in August with the opening of a new Belmont Middle School located adjacent to South Point High School.
Is it a done deal?
If Gaston County commissioners agree to Kare Partners' bid, the decision will then move to the Gaston County school board, according to the city's contract coordinator Rebecca Edison.
Upon approval, the purchase contract will be prepared and the property will be sold "as-is."
County commissioners will discuss the next steps of the bidding process in the event Kare Partners' bid gets denied.
Kare Partners plan on keeping the historic school house in tact, although the company expects renovations to be pricey.
"It is too soon to tell how much will be spent on renovations but we know that it will be in the millions. It is an old building that may need a few repairs on top of the work we are planning to do it," said Fremgen.
The company wants to expand on what has already worked in the area.
"We are still working on everything, but we want to create another Compleat KiDZ clinic in the back of the building and use the front as a virtual village to teach kids with intellectual and behavioral disabilities basic life skills," Fremgen said.