Move will help city determine final home for city hall
By Brandi Makuski
The former site of Mid-State Technical College could soon be up for rent.
City leaders on Monday will have to decide whether or not to hire local realtor Ward Wolff, of FirstWeber Realtors, to place the vacant 36,000-square-foot-building on the open market. The city is seeking $8 per square foot in annual rent, according to city documents.
After being vacated by Mid-State in 2014, the building was slated for use by UW-Stevens Point when it struck a tentative lease agreement with the city to use the Michigan Ave. space for its physical therapy program. The terms of that lease agreement, brokered under former Mayor Andrew Halverson, called for annual rent of $100,000 with an option to buy the building outright in 2017 for $1.39 million, but fell through before it was finalized.
“We want to test the waters in the market, so to speak,” said Mayor Mike Wiza. “If we get a lot of interest, that means something and we can get a good lease price on it.”
Wiza said the city would like to see $150,000 – $200,000 in annual rent for the space, adding “That could pay for a lot of improvements.”
Wiza said while the building’s parking lot is currently being leased to Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital — which is undergoing construction and in need of the extra parking — he would never authorize selling the building because it’s located adjacent to a city park.
“We need the parking. With the municipal pool open, and when P.J.’s [Jacobs Jr. High] is open; you throw a football game or a soccer game in there, there’s a parking problem,” Wiza said. “We already get complaints from people in the neighborhood on parking.”
If there’s no interest in the building, Wiza said the city would look to “repurpose” the structure.
“If nobody wants it, maybe we think about moving city hall down there, maybe we move the police department down there, who knows,” he said. “But we want to maintain control of that building.”
The city will consider the move during the Stevens Point Finance Committee on Monday at the Lincoln Center, 1519 Water Street. The 6 PM meeting is open to the public.