177-year-old Hillsborough inn could be acquired by town through eminent domain

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Hillsborough town commissioners will meet Monday night to discuss authorizing eminent domain proceedings in order to acquire the Colonial Inn property.

For many years commissioners have been concerned about the deteriorating condition of the Colonial Inn Property built in 1838 and located at 153 West King St. The Hillsborough fire marshal condemned a section of the property as unsafe for occupancy in late July.

Read the history of the Colonial Inn

The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners, members of the public, and even the current owner of the property has expressed an interest in preserving the historically significant building. In the past, the owner has also supported demolishing the building.

There have been discussions for several years about the various options available to preserve the Colonial Inn, but nothing has been done and the property continues to deteriorate.

Action needs to be taken soon if the property is to be saved.

There have been talks recently that suggest steps will be taken very soon to secure the property and to make some needed repairs. The owner’s representatives have indicated that a structural engineer has been, or within 30 days, will be retained to perform an inspection and prepare a report concerning the structural integrity of the buildings on the property.

The area condemned by the fire marshal, the rear dining area, is scheduled to be demolished within the next month.

colonial inn 2

If commissioners agree to use eminent domain to acquire the property, the Town of Hillsborough will be required to pay “just compensation” to the owner of the Colonial Inn.

That compensation must be equal to the “fair market value” of the building. Current tax value of the property, including the land and the building, is about $690,000.

A report from earlier this year suggests a fair market value for the property is around $150,000 considering its current condition.

If the town proceeds with eminent domain, the amount of compensation given to the owner would ultimately be determined by the court or a jury based on testimony from an appraisal expert.

The board will meet Monday at 7 p.m. at the Whitted Human Services Center.

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