Slated for demolition
Back in May, the city of Merrill offered the Lincoln House property at 120 S. Mill St. to potential developers for one dollar; they had no takers. Last Tuesday, the Merrill Common Council accepted a bid from C&D Excavating of Merrill to demolish the building and clear the site. The council had tabled that $156,780 bid in May.
By the terms of the contract, the demolition work will be completed by June 2014. Demolition costs will be paid for by insurance proceeds. The Lincoln House suffered extensive damage from a water leak in February 2013.
The city has assisted in the relocation of three residential tenants from the Lincoln House. The only tenant remaining in the building is radio station WJMT/Z104.
Station operations manager Jim Medley said the station will stay in Merrill.
“The city has been great about working with us,” he said.
Medley said the station’s electronic needs are the biggest hurdle to relocation.
“It’s going to take several weeks to install the wiring and other technical aspects of our operation,” Medley said.
City Administrator Dave Johnson noted that some phases of the demolition, such as asbestos removal, can begin while the radio station is still in the Lincoln House.
Mike Morrissey of Redevelopment Resources, a consultant for the Merrill Redevelopment Authority, said he’s invited developers to look at the Lincoln House site.
“It is an attractive site and we hope to be able to attract commercial developers to look at the Lincoln House site for redevelopment purposes,” Morrissey said.
Ideally, a new development would include both commercial and residential uses, he added.
In other redevelopment news, the Redevelopment Authority is recommending that the city accept a bid of one dollar from C&D Excavating to purchase the former technical college building at 419 W. Main St., along with the adjacent empty lot at 413 W. Main St. Following a public hearing last Tuesday, the Authority deemed the property to be blighted. The blight resolution and the recommendation to sell to C&D will go to the City Council at a special meeting on Sept. 24.
According to a proposal to purchase the property, C&D Excavating would remove the building and clear the lot by June 1, 2014. They would then redevelop the lot, possibly as a restaurant or retail business.