Anna church buys Sunshine Inn at auction

The new owners of the Sunshine Inn community center building in Anna say the facility could have a wide range of possible uses.

The building had been owned by Union County for a number of years.

The Union County Board of Commissioners recently declared the Sunshine Inn to be surplus property.

Monday night, Nov. 21, the structure, billed as an "historic community building," was sold at auction. The auction took place inside the building, which is located at 400 S. Main St.

The auction was conducted by Carl Dillow of 3D Auctions and Southern Real Estate Group (John Nimmo, broker). Both businesses are in Anna.

The auction included a number of the buildings contents, such as kitchen equipment, as well as art and collectibles and various miscellaneous items. Thirty-six people signed up to participate in the sale.

The sale of the Sunshine Inn itself was the first order of business at the acution.Auctioneer Carl Dillow began the bidding at 6:10 p.m.

The county had set a minimum bid of $60,000 for the building. Dillow started the bidding at $100,000. The number dropped to $10,000, then went to $15,000, then $20,000, before finally reaching the $60,000 mark.

The building was purchased by the neighboring First Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Joe Plemon was bidding on behalf of the church. Plemon is a member of the church.

Plemon said after the auction that the church sees "all kinds of potential uses" for the Sunshine Inn.

Plemon said the church's pastor, the Rev. Randy Carstens, sees the building as an "incubator of opportunity."

"In general, we see the building as a way to serve the youth of our community," Plemon shared in an email.

The Sunshine Inn could be utilized as the home of an after-school program. Such a program could provide services such as tutoring and having a safe place for children to come after school.

The facility could host youth activities on weekend evenings.

Art classes for those of all ages also could be presented.

"We are planning to restore the building back into good repair, starting with a new roof," Plemon said.

"We want it to not only be an aesthetic asset to the citizens of Union County, but also a nucleus of community service in many ways and for many years."

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