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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Goalkick, Hen House interested in Freeman Building

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Spencer Police Department is planning to move to the Spencer Municipal Utilities building by the end of the year, but the question on whether or not to demolish the Freeman Building is up in the air.

There are two options open to the city of Spencer. One option is to knock down the building and turn the space into a parking lot for the downtown area. Knocking down the building would cost the city $8,000 according to City Manager Bob Fagen. If the decision were to be made to pave the lot over, that would cost $60,000, based on a 2009 estimate.

The building also has asbestos in it that would cost from $3,000-$6,000 to get rid of, according to Director of Public Works Mark White.

Option number two is to have a public hearing, where bids can be made as to what should be done with the building. So far, a few businesses have shown interest in the soon-to-be-empty building; Goal Kick and the Hen House are two of them.

"We don't want the building to be sitting empty," Fagen said.

Goal Kick is looking to expand its business and is interested in the building. The local sporting goods store wishes to expand into the Freeman Building in order to make room for its new T-shirt printing business.

If Goal Kick were to acquire the building, it would only occupy 1,500 square feet on the east side and then take over the remaining 5,500 square feet once the police department has moved. The roof needs to be fixed, but Goal Kick would pay for the repairs if the building were to go to them, according to Alex Pruitt, representing the business.

The Hen House is interested in the building as well, as a way to expand parking for possible apartment renters.

How the Freeman Building looks is a point that many would like to address.

"What concerns me is what it looks like aesthetically for the downtown," said Mayor Reynold Peterson. "We need to make sure whoever buys it, fixes it."

The plan Alex Pruitt and Goal Kick have is to commission murals on the side of the building or paint the building a simple white.

Spencer city officials would like to open up bids for the building to the public, but a deadline has not been set yet, though Bob Fagen and other city council members would like to have the issue figured out by the end of February.

Officials would rather keep the building standing than demolish it. Bidding is open to the public but money isn't the main concern. Instead, what the building would be used for is more important, according to Fagen.

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I like the idea of another business buying the bldg. Why demolish something that someone else wants?

-- Posted by mgu42 on Tue, Jan 8, 2013, at 5:15 PM

If one of those businesses buy the building, great. It's going to take a lot of money to fix that place up though. Might better be served as a parking lot but heaven forbid the city spends money on something that doesn't spruce up Grand Ave.

-- Posted by iowafan11 on Wed, Jan 9, 2013, at 9:56 AM

City of Spencer not worried about how the building looked while they owned it but has to look pretty if someone else buys it. Can we say hypocrite?

-- Posted by CITIZEN SAM on Wed, Jan 9, 2013, at 2:51 PM

Why would the city fix up a building if it may be torn down? It seems to me they are doing this the proper way. They have been planning on moving out of this building for quite some time now with no one committing to purchasing the property. Hypocrisy or common sense? That being said I hope it is saved. I hate to see old buildings being destroyed but it is unfortunately all about economics...

-- Posted by deweyh on Thu, Jan 10, 2013, at 8:32 AM

if the area is turned into a parking lot,maybe it should be used for just that.the other parking lots have landscaping,trees,planters,etc. taking up almost a fourth of them that should be used for parking. why do businesses whine about needing more off grand parking and then fill their lot up with odds and ends to block snow,hinder vision,and take up valuable parking space? what will happen to the dispatchers when the spencer pd moves?will the communications center go with the pd ?the radio equipment is owned by the county i heard and the antennae and towers are owned by who? will they have to be moved or updated? maybe the reporter can finish reporting on this and put it in the paper as well.

-- Posted by big12cc on Sun, Jan 13, 2013, at 9:36 AM

big12cc- your comment suggests that every off grand parking lot is taken up by landscaping etc. Only one lot has landscaping and possibly takes away a couple of spaces. Your comment also suggests it was the business owners decision to have the parking lot designed like that. I do believe that is city parking so it isn't up to the business owners in that area how it is designed and used. Maybe direct your concerns with the city, not the business owners.

I also believe that every aspect of the downtown PD will be moving. I thought I read a while back that Farmers Bank bought the building where the PD is now. I could be dreaming that up and could be wrong so if anyone else has any info to back me up or to say I'm wrong, that would be appreciated.

-- Posted by iowafan11 on Mon, Jan 14, 2013, at 9:36 AM

Funny you should ask, big12cc. I'm fairly sure I just saw an article explaining the "musical chairs" involving the jail, PD, communications center and SMU. I guess you could throw Farmers Bank into that, too, since they're buying the old jail for parking, future expansion, etc.

-- Posted by No. 3121 on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 10:53 AM

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