Marshfield officials move forward with City Hall Plaza sale
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield officials are moving ahead with the sale of City Hall Plaza. With Rebecca Spiros and Peter Hendler absent, and Gordy Earll abstaining, the Marshfield Common Council voted 6-1 on March 26 in favor of selling the former home of city government to David Steinle for $900,000.
“The nice thing about it is it is a good clean sale,” Marshfield Mayor Bob McManus said. “It’s a cash offer, from what we’ve been told. They are going to close May 1; no contingencies. They are very clear on the condition of the property and very clear on the leases.
“What is nice about it for the city is it isn’t going to be a many, many year-long deal. It’s just a good clean sale.”
City Administrator Steve Barg said that the buyer will use the building for office, commercial, and retail use.
“We wanted to see some residential. We wanted to see some other types of redevelopment, but this time around we are just selling it as is, and this particular buyer just wants to use it as an office-retail-commercial –type building, renting out space,” Barg said.
“His intent is to keep all of the current tenants and to build on that. We obviously have three vacant floors – the fifth, sixth, and seventh.”
The city was receiving approximately $340,000 in rental income, between the lower level floors and the cell tower leases, with operating expenses taking half of that amount.
“Every month that goes by, we’ve been not losing money, we’ve actually been having profit per se; but, even as we lose that, we also lose the fact that in three years or five years or seven years, we would have to deal with HVAC issues, boiler, maybe roofing, maybe electrical and plumbing,” Barg explained.
Barg said that Strohman Park will be carved out of the sale for the city to retain.
The former Marshfield Clinic and Figi’s headquarters was on the market for nearly two years, after Milwaukee-based Gorman and Company decided in May of 2017 to back out of a deal to renovate the building into downtown apartments, saying at the time the company was unable to acquire historic state tax credits to make the project affordable for them. Gorman’s proposal called for 40 apartments, while still maintaining the retail space on the first floor.
After nearly 30 years, city government operations ended there last September when they moved across the street to the former Forward Financial Bank building at Sixth and Chestnut.