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City of Kinston to sell old power plant building

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KINSTON, Lenoir County - An old power plant could become a thriving business in Kinston as a distillery. City leaders announced on Friday they have entered into an option to purchase agreement with the Isaac Hunter Distillery, LLC.

The building is located on Atlantic Avenue and it once housed the city's power plant. It has not been used since the 1970s except to house some maintenance staff and storage. Since the building is in need of some serious renovations, the agreement would allow the company to buy the building for $500 dollars and potentially turn into a distillery.

"We would love for people to come down and go to Mother Earth, The Chef and The Farmer then walk through the arts and cultural district and see part of the Tom Sayre art piece that we have here and then this be another destination of the beautiful new river walk that we have here," city manager Tony Sears said.

Sears says the cost might sound like the city is giving away the building, but the idea is not to benefit from the sale of the building. The city's benefit will come from the revitalization that a new business could bring to that part of town.

"You have a building that hasn't been used since the 70s. When you have anyone interested in redevelopment it is key, especially in a neighborhood where it's being turned around where you've had some investment. This really helps to increase property tax, property value and the value of people's homes."

The company will have up to 18 months to work out the details and make the purchase and during that time the city agrees to not sell the building to any other developer.

In a statement to NewsChannel 12, Isaac Hunter Distillery representative Kelly Propst say the company is excited about the agreement and the opportunity and will provide more details as they become available.

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