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.