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- 2012 - March - 14th -

Cabinet to consider buying building, lot near The Grove

by David Royse
The News Service of Florida

The governor and Cabinet next week will take up a proposal to buy two parcels of land adjacent to The Grove historic home in Tallahassee to add to the site, which is planned to be open to the public next year.

The purchase price, set to match a price in an agreement with another purchaser under a right of first refusal agreed to earlier, would be $580,000.

The Grove, which is near the Governor’s Mansion, was the historic home of Gov. and Mrs. Leroy Collins in the 20th Century.

The home was built in the 19th century by territorial Gov. Richard Keith Call, who lived in it before statehood, and later was purchased by the Collinses.

The state bought the home from the Collins family in 1985 and received a grant of right of first refusal for three adjacent lots that also had been owned by the Collinses, but which were sold to different parties.

The agreement required that if the owners planned to sell those properties, the state would have the right to buy them first at the same price as the proposed sale. The purchase must be completed within six months, or the state loses the opportunity.

The three lots are at the eastern edge of the property, near First Avenue and North Monroe Street, northeast of the Governor’s Mansion. The property, just under an acre, contains two parking facilities and a 1924 home that has since been turned into a law office.

The Grove is leased by the state to the Division of Historical Resources, which is developing an exhibit, and plans to open the house to the public in 2013.

The proposed sale of the adjacent parcel is for about two-thirds of it, including the 1924 house and one of the parking lots. The state has until June 19 to close on the transaction.

The state intends to leave the 1924 building standing, and may continue to rent to a tenant, which is the party that had planned to buy the property.

With the purchase, The Grove would be accessible from North Monroe Street, a major thoroughfare in Tallahassee. Staff has recommended approval of the purchase.

The item is on the agenda for when Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet meet Tuesday.

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