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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • City moves closer to selling property for $1

  • The city of Leavenworth may soon sell the old Carnegie Arts Center building for $1.
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    • Other business

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      In other business Tuesday, the Leavenworth City Commission:


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      Other business

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      In other business Tuesday, the Leavenworth City Commission:



      • Approved a bid from Linaweaver Construction, of Lansing, for $28,500 for emergency repair work to a sewer line located at 811 Ottawa St. The cost of the work will be assessed against the property.



      The action was taken during a special meeting that followed a study session.

  • The city of Leavenworth may soon sell the old Carnegie Arts Center building for $1.
    When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners reviewed a letter of intent from Jeremy Greenamyre, vice president of Greenamyre Rentals, that lays out proposed conditions for the sale of the building, including the purchase price of $1.
    No action was taken Tuesday during what was a study session.
    But, the three commissioners who were on hand reached a consensus to move forward with the letter of intent.
    City Manager Scott Miller said the letter will be brought back to the commission next week for formal approval.
    Greenamyre Rentals has proposed converting the former arts center into an apartment building with eight to 12 units.
    The building, located at 601 S. Fifth St., was constructed with a grant awarded around 1900 by Andrew Carnegie and originally served as a library. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
    The city of Leavenworth took over the building after the Carnegie Arts Center closed in 2012. The structure reverted back to the city under an agreement that had allowed the building to be operated as the arts center.
    Last year, the city sent requests for proposals for the development of the former Carnegie Arts Center building. Greenamyre Rentals was the only company to submit a proposal.
    "It will put the building on the tax rolls," Miller said of Greenamyre's proposal.
    Miller said it also would bring residents close to the downtown area.
    "We need more people being close to the downtown," he said.
    Jeremy Greenamyre sent a letter of intent to the city Feb. 10. City staff made amendments to the document.
    "He has approved it and signed off on that," Miller said.
    Under the terms of the letter of intent, Greenamyre Rentals would have a due diligence or inspection period of at least 90 days.
    The closing of the contract and the property would be subject to the city's preservation regulations. 
    Greenamyre Rentals would agree to start construction to convert the building to apartments within 60 days of the closing.
    Jeremy Greenamyre said his company will need to secure state and federal tax credits for the project.
    "Without those, the project doesn't happen," he said.
    Mayor Mark Preisinger asked about parking for the apartment tenants.
    Greenamyre said this is something that will need to be ironed out.
    He said there are eight or nine spaces off an alley south of the building. He questioned whether current city regulations permit parking off an alley but he hopes something can be worked out.
    Page 2 of 2 - He said some tenants would access their apartments from the building's existing main entrance and may want to park on the street.
    After the meeting, Preisinger acknowledged the building is worth more than $1 but the city received only one proposal.
    "We sent RFPs all over," he said.
    He said selling the building will save the city money in terms of costs associated with maintaining the property.
    "We had no use for it whatsoever," he said.
    But, city commissioners wanted the building to be saved, he said.
    Preisinger said bringing the building up to standard and turning it into an apartment building will be expensive for the developer.
     

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