Future of current public safety facility discussed

North Main Street building could be redeveloped or sold
Published 11:37 am, Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The old public safety building, located on North Main Street, could have a new purpose.

The Administrative and Community Services Committee approved a resolution Thursday, authorizing the mayor to request proposals for potential sale and redevelopment of the older building. Approved Monday by City Council, the old facility could be redeveloped or repurposed following the completion of the new public safety facility this fall.

City Attorney Jeff Berkbigler said there has already been some interest in the development.

“Basically this would allow the city to send out a request for proposals. I think Walt (Williams) has about 20 developers from a database in the area to solicit proposals for redevelopment/reuse of the current public safety building fire station on North Main Street. He’s suggesting a floor of the appraised value of $1,040,000 as the minimum bid requirement,” Berkbigler said. “(They’re going to) try to see what we want, as far as whether it’s just going to be office space, mixed-use residential/retail, strictly retail. All of those items and then hopefully come to a consensus and a recommendation to the Council. The first step is actually issuing a request for proposals and this resolution would allow that.”

 The received proposals will be evaluated and the final selection will be made based off of what can be the most advantageous to the city of Edwardsville. City staff will take into consideration all information, qualifications, proposals, financial resources, and other information that will be presented. The recommendation will then come back to the ACS committee prior to Council approval.

Alderman Tom Butts said the redevelopment will be a beneficial project for the city.

“It’s more than just a price to me,” Butts said. “Is it going to generate more sales tax? What kind of use can it be? How are you going to score it? I think that would be an interesting challenge,” Butts said.

Also included in the property is a 1.34 acre parcel of land and a cell tower used by both police and fire departments.

Berkbigler said the chosen proposal would be obligated to take part in the cell tower lease.

“The cell tower – the proposal would be subject to that cell tower lease, which is still in effect. We would assign that to the prospective developer, I would imagine. There is some cash flow there; I think there’s around $13,000 a year that they would be getting, in addition to the property. It’s our land but we are leasing it to the tower – the tower is owned by a separate entity that leases the land and we do have some equipment but we are relocating our antennae equipment to the new place because of line-of-sight issues,” he said.

Committee members also expressed concern in regards to the mural on the outside wall of the police department.

Director of Parks and Recreation Bob Pfeiffer said the Historic Preservation Committee has already discussed ways to preserve the piece. Berkbigler said there’s also a possibility to get the county involved.

“The mural depicts the county in the area. We talked about maybe getting the county historical museum involved with displaying or repurposing that,” Berkbigler said.

Discussion came to a close and all members of the ACS committee were in favor of the proposal’s approval. The motion was moved forward and approved at Monday’s City Council meeting.

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