Local News

Bidder wants more time to review Harder Hall purchase

SEBRING - The only current bidder for historic Harder Hall wants changes in the bid regulations, which Sebring City Attorney Bob Swaine finds unacceptable, Swaine said Monday. But Swaine said he's hoping to work out a compromise that would be acceptable to the bidder and the city by the City Council meeting tonight. Earlier this month, city officials accepted sealed bids for Harder Hall, and NRPIA No. 1 Corp. was the only bidder. It submitted a bid of $4.2 million, $600,000 above a bid it made before the city decided on a sealed bid process. Another bidder, MVP Properties of Davie, had bid $3.4 million last year. It objected to the sealed bid process and withdrew its bid. MVP chose not to submit a sealed bid.
The bid specifications submitted by the city included a due diligence clause allowing the bidder 90 days look at the property and issues associated with it. The bidder could withdraw its bid for up to 3 months. But, it would not receive a full deposit back. The amount of the returned deposit would be based on the number of days the bidder took to make the decision to withdraw the bid. Swaine said NRPIA wanted a change that would essentially allow the company the ability to get a refund of the full deposit, regardless of the time it took to do its due diligence. While Swaine said he would recommend the city reject that change, he added that a possible compromise could be developed by tonight, when the city will decide on whether to accept the bid. That would eliminate the necessity to go back and forth with NRPIA to negotiate changes. People associated with the bid said earlier this month that if everything is finalized, Harder Hall would likely become a physical rehabilitation center. But there's also been speculation Harder Hall would be an upscale addiction rehabilitation center for those who want treatment away from a major city.

jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834