The controversial piece of property, located on Highway 321 in
Lenoir City, was purchased by the Loudon County School Board in
2006 after much in-fighting on the board about the land's
location and price.
The 80-acre property was purchased by the board for $2.3
million. Board members at that time came under fire when it was
learned developer Richard Eisenbach paid $1.3 million for 103
acres just one day before selling 80 acres of the parcel to the
school board, realizing a $1-million profit in one day. Some
also questioned why Eisenbach made such a large profit and
retained 20 acres of prime road frontage.
Two years later the school board authorized Loudon County
District Attorney Russell Johnson to ask the Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation to investigate the transaction. Johnson found
there was nothing illegal about the sale and said the high price
of the property was due to the real estate boom taking place
when the land was bought in 2006.
At the workshop Shaver said the land would be difficult to level
for building and cold be problematic for installing sewer lines.
He said the property should be priced at $2.5 million.
Director of Loudon County Schools Wayne Honeycutt said there are
two options for the sell of the property - one would be to turn
the property over to the county as surplus property or to put
the property up for sealed bids with a reserve price.
Board member Gary Ubben expressed doubts about selling land now
given the current real estate market. "It's not the right
time," he told the board. He suggested since the board's long
range building plan calls for a new middle school in the future
on Highway 11 or Highway 70 "a trade might be an option." Since
the land on Highway 321 is zoned commercial, he said once the
economy strengthens it should bring in a better price.