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City of St. Michael to Tear Down Two Abandoned Downtown Buildings

The city plans by mid-November to begin demolishing the buildings at 105 and 109 Central Ave. E, including the former site of Simonson Lumber Yard.

Two abandoned buildings that have become an eyesore in the community are scheduled to start being demolished after Nov. 14.

The buildings are located in downtown St. Michael, on the lots of 105 and 109 Central Ave. East. The sites are now owned by the city of St. Michael — one is an old abandoned building and another was lost to a fire in January — the former site of Simonson Lumber Yard.

The St. Michael City Council at its regular meeting Tuesday approved a bid of $2,600 for asbestos removal to be completed in the next few weeks. After the asbestos is removed, the demolition is scheduled to begin.

"We are well under budget from the standpoint of environmental costs and evaluation," said Marc Weigle, the city's community development director, at the meeting, about accepting the lowest of the three bids for the project.

The project is expected to be wrapped up by mid-December, he told the council.

Weigle added that members of the city's economic development authority have discussed the proposed use of the site, along with a proposed buyer.

"There's been a lot of discussion about the vision for that site, what the city can and cannot do, and we're trying to be cognizant of the fact that if we are going to entertain proposals (from buyers), it would have to be (sold) around the fair market value of the site," Weigle said. "The city has done work to increase the value of the property — it's probably not worth the same amount today as it was back then."

He said he will continue talks with prospective buyers, and an updated appraisal of the land is needed.

The city intends to be reimbursed for the asbestos removal through a tax increment district, or TID, in the future, Weigle said. According to city officials, the tax is a routine procedure for this type of project.

Bex October 26, 2012 at 02:31 PM
It will be interesting to know if, when sold, the properties will bring in a capital gain or loss... An eyesore would be a matter of opinion. When we drive by those buildings, we see history and evidence that St. Michael was a thriving community at one point in time. As with the rest of the historical buildings, these will be torn down. Maybe it's an eyesore so some because they weren't taken care of and are sitting empty...more evidence of the economy and "progress" in moving "downtown'.
Jeff Grotte October 26, 2012 at 06:21 PM
The whole reconstruction of downtown is an eyesore to me. I personally like remembering the town how it was when I was a kid with narrow streets, stop signs, and the sound of the high school marching band practicing on those streets. Why don't they build another Thrifty White building so that it instead can sit empty there?
Mrs. V October 30, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I would call the empty Thrifty White location and other empty strip mall locations around St. Michael & Albertville more of an eye sore than these old buildings. Why not referbish them and maintian a little of the history of St. Michael.
John Silvernale November 05, 2012 at 06:06 PM
It's sad to see more of our heritage being torn down by beaurocrats. You can't find buildings like that anymore! They could be good for some small business after the economy continues to grow. Very sad.

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