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Franklin receives offer on old city hall building

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Several potential buyers toured Franklin’s former city hall, but only one made an offer to buy the building.

That offer called for using the building for a restaurant and brewery.

Phil Warrenburg, a rural Franklin resident representing Old Post Holdings, submitted the only offer for the building at 55 W. Madison St., which has been vacant since 2009 when city offices moved to their current location.

The first floor would be used for a restaurant with outdoor seating, and brewers would craft beer in the basement, Warrenburg said.

Old Post Holdings would purchase the building for $10,000 and invest about $600,000 in renovations setting up the brew pub, Warrenburg said. The company is asking for up to $260,000 in tax funds from the redevelopment commission to help update the historic building, which was originally built as a post office.

Redevelopment commission members will review the proposal and decide in March if they want to negotiate further with Warrenburg or reject the offer and continue searching for a buyer.

Four other potential buyers called the city for information or toured the building, Franklin community development director Krista Linke said.

Commission president Bob Heuchan said he wasn’t surprised to get only one offer because the building has been vacant for so long and is historic, and renovation costs are likely more than many business owners want or can afford, he said.

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