The Red Barn Auction Company will not move into the former Super 10 building in downtown Nashville, the building owner said.
Scott Tyson, the building owner, said it would have been cost-prohibitive to do extensive renovations necessary to upfit the building to meet the requirements of the building code for a new use. He had hoped to rent an empty building, located at 227 W. Washington St., to the auction company.
Tyson said he knew he would have to make some changes to the building, but he had no idea how expensive it could end up being. He estimated it would cost between $80,000 and $100,000 to make the necessary renovations to meet the building code requirements for an auction house.
“It’s not feasible,” Tyson said.
The state sets building code requirements, which are outlined in the N.C. State Building Code, said Braxton Tanner, chief code enforcement officer for Nash County. The county provides building code enforcement for 10 of the 11 municipalities in Nash County, including Nashville.
Anytime a building has a change of use, it must be evaluated for a change of occupancy, Tanner said.
An auction house typically draws large crowds, which often requires more emergency exits, restrooms and other service systems than are normally required for a store.
“There’s a lot that has to be considered when you start changing the use of a building,” Tanner said.
The average property owner often is unaware of those requirements, Tanner said.
It can be more expensive when changing the use of a building to a higher hazard classification, Tanner said.
Tanner said his office consulted with the engineering division of the N.C. Department of Insurance, which helped make the determination that the building in downtown Nashville would change occupancy classifications to a classification called “Assembly 3” if an auction house were to locate there.
“That’s the way they treat auction houses throughout the state,” Tanner said.
Tyson said it wasn’t feasible to make a major investment in renovating the facility to meet the new occupancy classification requirements, especially since the special use permit for auction sales in that location would have to be renewed each year.
“I feel like everything we’ve been asked to do has been unnecessary,” Tyson said.
He thanked the people who supported the project.
The Town Council voted earlier this week to require that the special use permit to allow auction sales at the building be renewed each year.
Town Councilman Charles Taylor said the town did not stop the Red Barn Auction Company from moving into downtown.
He said the town is hungry for businesses, as long as those businesses meet all of the building code requirements.
Requiring the special use permit for auction sales at that location to be renewed each year was a way for the town to ensure that things were being done properly, Taylor said.
If they were, the permit likely would be renewed, Taylor said.