City eyes blighted former bank property
Last Tuesday, the city’s Redevelopment Authority unanimously approved the $140,000 purchase of the former St. Vincent DePaul and Lincoln Community bank building at 401 W. Main Street.
Plans call for the demolition and asbestos abatement of the blighted building prior to purchase, followed by redevelopment of the clean site.
“The building is beyond repair or remodel,” said city administrator Dave Johnson.
“As a matter of fact, St. Vincent left due to estimated costs of roof repairs being over $100,000. The building is not ADA compliant and any historical value to the building’s façade was destroyed when the white-bubble wrap was installed.”
“Our goal is to get rid of the blighted building and start over with re-development of either a commercial or residential property.”
When asked of the parcel being of potential interest with the nearby, upcoming Park Place re-development project by the Merrill Housing Authority, Johnson stated he was unsure.
“It would be a great opportunity for them if they were interested. The parcel could house additional units to complement Park Place. The parcel would be a great opportunity for any commercial enterprise for that matter.”
According to Housing Authority director Paul Russell, the agency’s current interest is focused on potential extra parking opportunity behind the building.
“We could be interested in the parcel in the future,” Russel said.
“But at this point and time our interest is primarily in the opportunity for additional parking during the Park Place project.”
The matter will now proceed for Common Council approval Tuesday evening at City Hall.
Tuesday’s meeting is set for a 7 PM start time