James Chapman, left, is congratulated by Dwight Tankersley after offering the high bid for the old Hartselle post office building on Saturday. Tankersley was the auctioneer.| Clif Knight
James Chapman, left, is congratulated by Dwight Tankersley after offering the high bid for the old Hartselle post office building on Saturday. Tankersley was the auctioneer.| Clif Knight

Archived Story

Old post office has new owner

Published 4:05pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The old Hartselle post office has a new owner.

The historic building and an adjacent off-street parking lot were sold at auction to James Chapman, a Hartselle businessman, on Saturday morning.

Chapman’s offer of $106,500 for the property, which was bid in three separate parcels before being offered as a package, was accepted by the owner, Hartselle Utilities. His high bid was also subject to a 10 percent auctioneer’s commission, bringing to $116,655 the total price.

The buyer had the high bid on the building at $80,000. Another bidder offered $14,500 for parking lot B (adjacent to the building) and $7,000 for parking lot C (adjacent to Hickory Street). Chapman was the only bidder when the bids on the three parcels were combined and a five percent premium was added.

The property was sold as is by United County Four Oaks Realty & Auction of Hartselle with $100,000 as the low minimum reserve.

HU General Manager Bob Sittason said he was glad to see the property purchased by someone who will take care of it.

“We had no use for it and it was costing us money to keep it up,” he pointed out.

Chapman said he would renovate the building and put it on the market for commercial office space, or possibly an antique mall or a bed and breakfast.

“When I came to Hartselle it was the post office and one of the busiest places in town,” Chapman recalled. “I want to see it serve a useful purpose again, while maintaining it historical significance.”

The building, which has over 7,000 sq. ft. of floor space in a full basement and main floor, was vacated by Hartselle Utilities in 2002 when it moved to a new facility on North Sparkman Street. It was built in 1939 and is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and the National Register of Historic Places.

The restoration cost of the building will quality it for a 25 percent state tax credit and a 12 percent federal tax credit.

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