City to take possession of SIST properties

Jurisdictional offer to purchase will need court approval

The Shawano Redevelopment Authority is hoping to take possession of a long-vacant, blighted downtown property as soon as next month, provided its offer to purchase is approved by the court.

The property at 214-216 S. Main St. is owned by the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology and has been the subject of numerous inspections that, according to city officials, show it to be a health and safety hazard and structurally unsound.

The city had an appraisal of the property done last year as a first step in negotiating a purchase price with SIST.

That appraisal deemed the property virtually worthless.

According to the appraisal, the property at 214 S. Main St. would be worth $42,000 as a vacant lot.

However, demolition of the building was estimated to cost anywhere from $68,000 to $100,000, which led appraisers to place the property’s value at “zero dollars.”

The much smaller and landlocked adjacent property at 216 S. Main was valued at $5,300 without the existing building on it. The cost of demolishing that building was estimated at $8,000 to $13,000.

SIST countered with its own appraisal that placed the value of the 214 S. Main St. property at $35,000 and the 216 S. Main St. property at $2,000.

There were no subsequent negotiations, according to the city.

Assistant City Administrator Eddie Sheppard, who provides staff support for the RDA, said the RDA decided to go with the SIST appraisal and make a jurisdictional offer through the courts of $37,000 for both properties.

Sheppard said the RDA wanted to save any additional time and effort and get the process moving as quickly as possible.

Also, by accepting the SIST appraisal, he said, “it would be hard to argue that the offer is unfair.”

It was not known how soon the court would review the matter, but the jurisdictional offer included a request that the RDA take possession of the properties on Feb. 1.

If that happens, the buildings are likely to be demolished soon after.

“It’s unfortunate, because when a downtown building goes down, they never come back up,” Sheppard said. “But we believe they’re not salvageable.”

However, Sheppard said, there would be additional inspections done first to confirm that the buildings are beyond repair.

The RDA is also working on a similar jurisdictional offer for another blighted SIST property at 143-145 S. Main St., but that process is not as far along, Sheppard said.