A historic Hillsborough inn that survived the Civil War and entertained guests like the late actor Paul Newman has won a temporary reprieve from being taken over by town officials who view it as an eyesore and health hazard.
TV station WRAL is reporting that Hillsborough town officials have dismissed their eminent domain action to forcibly acquire the former Colonial Inn in downtown.
A deal was reached with the property owner, the station reports. Town Mayor Tom Sevens was quoted as saying he’d like to see the building restored and put to use.
Historians say the inn was built in 1838. It has been closed for more than a decade and is a rundown eyesore. It was condemned in 2015, WRAL says.
Public safety concerns were cited when the city began pursuing eminent domain action against the owners of the site on West King Street. Under eminent domain, the government is allowed to take private property and compensate the owner.
A mediator brought the two sides together in April, and Hillsborough agreed drop its court action if the owner immediately put the inn up for sale, WRAL reported.
If a suitable buyer isn't found in the next 11 months, town officials will resume eminent domain proceedings, it was reported.
Francis Henry, a Chapel Hill businessman, bought the inn at auction in 2002. Three years ago, local officials blocked his attempt to demolish the building, WRAL reported.