CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The new owner of the old federal building in Cape Girardeau says his first priority would be to lease or even sell it to the city or Cape Girardeau County.
"Our first priority was the county or the city," Majid Hemmasi of RDRH Holdings Inc. told me by phone Thursday afternoon from his office in Austin, TX. "And if that doesn't work to (lease it to) some attorneys because it is close to the new courthouse over there, the federal courthouse."
Hemmasi tells me he bought the property as an investment opportunity, something he's done with other government properties.
Hemmasi says he bid on the building during the first auction and realized he wasn't the only one who wanted it.
"During the first go around, I was bidding and saw every time we bid, someone was bidding against us immediately," he recalled. "Then, I do the Google search, I saw the clip of the news that the county was interested."
Hemmasi tells me he did not want to run up the price, since the county would be buying the building with taxpayer money.
So, he decided to reach out to county leaders.
"Several phone calls I made", he tells me. "Finally, they understood what I am talking about. So, after a while a commissioner called me. And I expressed, if they are the one bidding, I stop bidding against them because there is no reason for the taxpayer entity to pay more than what they should pay. And the gentleman told me, they are not the one bidding but they are interested and asked if I get it, they might be interested in leasing it in the future", Hemmasi says.
Hemmasi tells me he traveled to Cape during the first auction and likes the city.
He says it reminds him of Austin, where he's based.
Hemmasi says he plans to travel to Cape next week to secure the property, then tour the building to see what kind of renovations it may need.
Stay with Heartland News and kfvs12.com for updates.