Real Estate Management

North Carolina General Statutes control the procedures for selling city-owned property, which make several competitive methods of sale available to cities. Public methods of sale include upset bids, sealed bids and public auctions. The City of Asheville most often utilizes the upset bid method. The best way to stay informed about any of these methods is to regularly review legal advertisements in the Asheville Citizen-Times. All public sale methods must be advertised for specified periods of time through legal advertisements.

  1. Public Auction - After advertisement at least 30 days prior to the sale, a public auction may be conducted. City Council may accept or reject the highest offer within 30 days after the sale.
  2. Sealed Bid - The property is advertised for sale not less than 30 days before a scheduled bid opening, a bid deposit of not less than five percent is required, and the highest responsible bid must be accepted unless all bids are rejected.
  3. Upset Bids - The process begins when a bid is received whether unsolicited, the result of negotiations or in response to a solicitation for bids. If City Council proposes to accept the bid, the bid is advertised for upset bids. For a period of 10 days after the advertisement, a sealed upset bid may be submitted. If at the end of the 10 days, an upset bid is received, the new bid becomes the current high bid and the process is repeated. This continues until no upset bids are received. A bid deposit of not less than 5 percent is required. Once a final qualifying offer is received, Council must either accept or reject it.


North Carolina General Statues also provide for a non-competitive method called a private sale. This type of sale is the result of negotiations between city officials and the proposed purchaser under certain restricted circumstances.


  1. Exchanges - The city may exchange real property for other property. A notice is published at least 10 days before the meeting approving the exchange. The exchange must be full and fair, but it does not have to be exactly equal. Non-monetary factors may be considered, and the exchange may include part cash.
  2. Community Development Property - Property within a community development area may be conveyed to a redeveloper, subject to covenants, conditions and restrictions for some use that accords with the community development plan. The sale price may not be less than the appraised value. A public hearing is required, and the terms of the transaction and the appraised value must be disclosed.
  3. Historically, Architecturally or Scenically Significant Properties – Such a sale may be made only to a nonprofit corporation or trust whose purposes include the preservation or conservation of such properties. The deed must include a preservation or conservation easement. No procedural steps are required by statute prior to the sale.
  4. Open Space - Property may be conveyed back to its original owner or a nonprofit corporation subject to covenants that preserve the open space at private sale. Sale to anyone else must be by competitive sale. No procedural steps are required by statute prior to the private sale.
  5. Fire Department and Rescue Squad Properties - Property may be conveyed to a fire department or rescue squad with or without monetary consideration. The property must be conveyed subject to covenants restricting the use to the department's or squad's purposes. A 10 day notice is required prior to approval of the sale.
  6. Grants to Nonprofit Agencies - Property may be conveyed with or without monetary consideration to a nonprofit carrying out a public service that the city might otherwise carry out such as a museum, historical society, senior citizens agencies, etc. This type of sale may not be used for property acquired by eminent domain. Covenants restricting the use to public service are required. Once the sale is approved, a notice must be published, and the sale may not be concluded before 10 days after the notice.
  7. Downtown Development - For a capital project within the city's central business district, property may be conveyed by private sale if the city finds that the project is likely to have a significant effect on the revitalization of the central business district. The process is the same as for Community Development Property.

For more information about purchasing city-owned property, contact the City of Asheville's real estate manager using the information below.

Contact Information

City of Asheville Office of Economic Development
Nikki Reid, Real Estate Manager
Office: (828) 259-5729

Ellen McKinnon, Real Estate Coordinator
Office: (828) 259-5725