You can own an 80-foot forestry tower in South Carolina, but there's a catch

You can own an 80-foot forestry tower in South Carolina, but there's a catch

December 16, 2018

The Paris Mountain fire lookout tower is up for sale.
(South Carolina Forestry Commission)

Christmas shoppers in South Carolina looking for a gift that towers above the rest may be in luck.

An 80-foot tall fire lookout tower in Paris Mountain State Park near Greenville is up for sale, but with a very specific catch: The buyer has 10 days to move the tons of steel that make up the 72-year-old structure from the date of sale, in this case, Monday. The removal would most likely cost much more than the purchase price.

“These items are for pickup only at the 35 Tower Rd in Greenville, South Carolina,” the state surplus auction site reads. “The winning bidder is responsible for the loading and removal of this property. No assistance available from the agency.”

“Pickup only” could require trucks to haul parts of the tower away to a new location and possibly a crane for bigger sections. Re-erecting it is another story.

David Owen, a property manager with the state Forestry Commission, couldn’t give an exact figure of the tower’s tonnage, the Post and Courier newspaper reported.

A fire lookout tower up for sale this holiday season requires it be moved by the winning bidder.

Instead of selling the steel for scrap, buyers usually bring the towers home and restore them on big plots of land.

By early Saturday, six bidders had the structure on their holiday wish list. The highest bid was $525, according to the auction site.

There's no question the tower's a fixer-upper.

“Inspection recommended,” according to a description of the structure. “The agency is reporting this item is in fair condition overall but needs repairs to the steps, windows and cab floor.”

In years past, winning bids for towers have ranged from $1,000 to $5,000, said David Owen, property manager for the state Forestry Commission.

“It’s quite a view from up there,” Owen said.

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