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Details on the city's building aquisition

July 6, 2012
Ross Bercik - Managing Editor , Traer Star-Clipper

The Traer City Council met in special session on Tuesday, June 26, to vote on the proposed counter-offer from MI Developments regarding the Traer Manufacturing Building.

The building, which the owners originally proposed selling to the city at a cost of $1, has structural and cosmetic work that needs to be done before a corporate tenant finds it suitable for use.

The Traer Development Corporation, with leadership provided by Kent Holst, haggled with the company and managed to get a better proposal that benefits all parties.

The council voted unanimously to approve the counter-offer, which in short will give the city the building as a donation, along with the sum of $250,000 cash to make basic repairs to the structure.

The real estate donation agreement that was originally proposed on May 8 was amended to allow the city sufficient time prior to closing to conduct environmental assessments (which have already been completed).

The new agreement will provide the $250,000 to the Traer Foundation as a charitable donation, meaning it will be tax deductible.

MI Developments will pay any fees associated with the ownership transfer, and better yet for the city, will pay the taxes owed on the property until March of 2014. At that point, the building will come off the tax rolls if the city has not found a suitable tenant.

The city will need to provide proof of insurance that the building will be covered for both property and liability under the city's current insurance plan.

The Traer Development Corporation and the Traer City Council were in agreement that the purchase of the building, provided the city can re-sell it, is a good idea. There was initial concern over the cost of renovating the structure, but the $250,000 should go a long way in getting the building ready for sale.

One of the options discussed by the council following the approval of the deal was what repairs need to be made. The council discussed doing the basic work of sealing off the building to protect it from further deterioration from the elements, something that has been estimated to cost just under $100,000. This would give the city the option to help a potential buyer renovate with part of the cost being incurred by the leftover funds.

Mayor Pete Holden made it clear that the TDC and Kent Holst deserve the lion's share of the credit in getting an improved deal.

"Without them, we wouldn't have gotten this done," Holden said. "Kent and the TDC worked very hard to get us a good amount that will really help us."

The city will now begin working with its team to draw up paperwork on the offer, and hopes to have the building purchased within the next few months.



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