It's official: Bill Heard has a buyer - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

It's official: Bill Heard has a buyer

(WTVM) -- It's been almost three months since Bill Heard shut its doors, locking 280 people out of a job.

But now there's a new man in town, to take over the 24 acre property off Manchester Expressway.

Georgia state Senator Emanuel Jones, won the bid Thursday afternoon, bringing 25-million dollars to the table.

"You had to have your funds in the bank by yesterday," said Emanuel Jones."It's great to know that I am the bidding winner. This is a very attractive store and market. It's been a long fight.

His main competition was Columbus automobile dealer Carl Gregory who was planning to bid against Jones, but the Burr & Forman law firm says his offer did not qualify, because he didn't want to take on the Real Estate responsibilities of the company.

Jones says the new name will be Legacy Automotive.

"Legacy was the name of my first dealership that I opened. I am coming back to my roots and my parents, though deceased, I feel they would be proud of me coming back so I wanted to honor them."

Jones says he knows he has some big shoes to fill. He plans to open the store by December 19th. The first thing on the agenda is hiring workers, and Jones already has a contract to bring back some of the old faces.

"Mr. Jones is hoping to hire those folks because of their expertise in both sales and mechanics," said James Hunsinger. "He has a ready made people with those who did lose their jobs."

And that's good news for former workers like Johnny Williams

"All day I've gotten calls, texts and emails wanting to know when they can start back to work, said Johnny Williams."

Jones is planning a hiring fair on December 10th for those interested in work at the dealership and his bid will be finalized Friday in US Bankruptcy Court in Birmingham.

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