AUBURN — DeKalb County officials voted Sept. 9 to sell a vacant lot at 208 E. 7th St., Auburn, to a new company for $75,000.

A public hearing on the sale revealed no details about how the buyer intends to use the property, one-half block to the northeast of Auburn’s courthouse square.

A company identified as 3:16 Real Estate LLC will purchase the property. According to Indiana Secretary of State records, 3:16 Real Estate was created Dec. 19, 2019, with David Hefty as its registered agent. The new company’s address of 112 E. 7th St., Auburn, is the same as Credent Wealth Management, for which Hefty is the chief executive officer and co-founder.

County Commissioners voted 3-0 to sell the land. The County Council then voted 6-1 to approve the sale, with only Councilman William VanWye opposed.

The sale of the property follows a discussion at the council’s Aug. 3 meeting revealing that the city of Auburn is considering construction of a multi-story parking garage directly across the street.

The city recently paid for soil tests of the possible parking garage site, which also is owned by county government. The site now is used as an outdoor parking lot for county employees.

In a discussion of the proposed parking garage at the Aug. 3 meeting, County Commissioners President William Hartman commented that the city intended to create 350 parking spaces. Hartman added, “There’s another 100 spots that’s going to be needed” in the downtown area, without disclosing why. County Council President Rick Ring referred to “issues coming up that nobody can talk about right now” involving the need for a parking garage.

The property being sold to 3:16 Real Estate has 60 feet of frontage along 7th Street and is 66 feet deep. It stands immediately west of a county government office building at 220 E. 7th St.

In Sept. 14’s discussion, Hartman said the sale price of $75,000 is the average of two appraisals of the property. By state law, that is the minimum price for which the county could sell the land.

County officials said the property is not useful for parking, and the county has no plans to expand its office building next door.

“It’s something that we’re just sitting on. … We have a buyer, and so we’d like to move it,” Hartman said.

He added, “It’s not the only property we’ll be looking to sell in the future,” mentioning an unused tract of land on C.R. 61.

The DeKalb County Airport also recently sold property, Airport Authority member Randy Fox said in his monthly report to the County Council.

The airport’s governing body sold 5 acres near the airport to Geoff Robison for $52,750 in an auction, Fox said. The land had been reserved for a potential second runway, which no longer is being considered.

“This is kind of unprecedented that an airport sells property,” Fox said.

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