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Escambia County property investment

ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --   Escambia County is looking to buy two vacant lots in Brownsville.
They plan to use sales tax money...
And hope to re-sell it later.

The properties are next to each other forming a chunk of land between "P" Street and Pace Boulevard.

What the investment could bring to the community.
195,000 dollars, that's how much the county Community and Environment Department says commissioners should pay for this piece of land, which staff members say is a blight in the community.

Gloria Horne, Neighbor: "I have to look at that every day.  No, I, like, live kinda decent. Some of us do have some pride about how we live."
Gloria horne lives across the street from the property on North "P" Street.
She and her neighbors have mixed feelings about the proposal.
Gloria Horne, Neighbor: "They could be using that money on a whole lot of other things besides some property."
Lee Blackmon, Neighbor: "195,000 I think it's worth it. Boy, that's an eyesore right now."
The land was once the site of the Soule Marine Company.
The business has been closed for some time and the buildings have fallen into severe disrepair.   
County staff members want to clean up the land and eventually find a buyer in the private sector that could develop the properties.

Gloria Horne, Neighbor:  "It would be nice you know, a park instead of the county tryin' to sell it 'cause there's nothing pretty over here."
Commercial real estate brokers we spoke with have mixed views on whether the county could get a good return on its investment.

Sonny Granger, President, Granger Properties: "People are making decisions to, you know, relocate or to build a building and things like that more than what's been going on in the last six years."
Sonny Granger, of Granger Properties, says the market is improving, while others told us off camera that they're not so optimistic.
An appraisal performed in December placed the combined value of the two properties at 206,000 dollars.

Commissioners will meet to discuss the proposed land purchase on Thursday.