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City hall changes studied carefully

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Greenwood isn’t quickly accepting offers to buy its former city hall.

Two companies have proposed to buy the old building at 2 N. Madison Ave. One company wants to add on to the building to make affordable senior apartments, and the other plans to convert it into offices.

“We’re not certain on either one of them,” Mayor Mark Myers said.

The city earlier this year asked for proposals and now is asking for plans from at least one other business besides the two that made offers, he said.

The city is trying to weigh what would be the best use for the building, Myers said.

Greenwood used the building, which originally opened as a community center in 1920,

as its city hall starting in the 1980s. The city renovated the former Presnell building at 300 S. Madison Ave. and moved its offices there in April.

Since then, the city has been looking for a buyer for the old city hall in hopes that high-end condominiums or another project that would improve downtown would end up in the building.

Officials have to consider how to get the building back in use quickly so a business is paying for the utilities, instead of the city, and a company starts paying property taxes, Myers said.

By state law, Greenwood has to sell the property for at least $675,000, which is the average of two appraisals. The companies that have come forward with offers have agreed to pay exactly the appraised price.

Wallick-Hendy Development of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, has offered to buy the building and to invest $8 million to renovate the structure.

The Wallick-Hendy plans would include adding 24,300 square feet to create about 40 apartments total, according to documents submitted to the city. The expansion would take place in the current parking lot.

The building timeline would be dependent on the company getting a Low Income Housing Tax Credit in February and some historical restoration grants. Wallick-Hendy would have the option to break the agreement and get its first payments to the city refunded if the company backed out of the deal by March 1, according to the proposal.

The lengthy time frame is a concern, Myers said.

The other company, Randy Faulkner and Associates, wants to buy the building but have the city use tax-increment-financing dollars and other funding to pay for renovating the old city hall for office space.

The company previously rehabbed Polk Place, a former 1907 cannery, on Main Street.

The business required that it would have the right to break its agreement to buy the building if the city couldn’t afford to pay for high-quality upgrades, according to the company’s proposal.

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