Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1633555

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 28, 2017

Another offer on former library surfaces

By David Hotle | Mar 15, 2017
Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said there is now a second interested party waiting in the wings since the City Council agreed to accept $111,000 for the former library at 120 E. Main Street to LARME, LLC.

Even after the Washington City Council agreed to sell the former Washington Public Library building last month, Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said there is now a second interested party waiting in the wings.

After the City Council agreed to accept $111,000 for the former library at 120 E. Main Street to LARME, LLC, provided certain conditions are met by May, Hinson said the city has received another offer for the building. While he did not reveal the name of the interested party, he said it was a local business and would also be “fantastic” if the business took possession of the building.

“We were totally free to negotiate with anybody else because the council approved it with certain contingencies,” Hinson said.

Hinson said in either case, the city would be able to move ahead with its plans for expanding city space.

The day after the council had approved the sale of the building, Hinson said he received an inquiry on the building from an “extremely serious party.” After seeing the building, the party had asked for more information. The second party made a formal offer. Hinson said the offer is also for $111,000, with no contingencies.

There is still one more contingency left on the sale to LARME LLC, Hinson said. The contingencies on the sale were that the business could get financing for the building and could sign a tenant. Hinson said the LLC is about “90 percent” done with the contingencies.

He also said according to the agreement, the city could continue to seek offers on the building. He said if a second buyer made an offer with no contingencies, the first party had 72 hours to drop contingencies. He said LARME has dropped its contingency for the tenant.

“The first buyer is in the driver’s seat ... still,” Hinson said. “However, the remaining contingency which wasn’t subject to the agreement is the buyer is seeking financing and has not secured that. The buyer has until March 31 to complete that financing contingency.”

Hinson said May 2 has already been set as the closing date. He said if the first party doesn’t get financing by March 31, “the second party is back in the game.”

He said that during the years the city has tried to sell the building there has been a complete turnover of the city council and changes in the city’s plans. This is the reason there have been so many changes in direction. Throughout it all, he said, there has been interest in getting rid of the library and going to the campus plan.

“We had exhausted every avenue to get an offer and this was the first serious offer we had gotten,” Hinson said.

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