Mayor Tom Richards says after months of negotiations, plans are to sell the building to the Winn Development company for $5 million. The building has been a financial burden to the city after the current owner, Rochwil, defaulted on its tax agreement. Rochwil has closed to $20 million in debt that it owes, including interest owed to the city. Mayor Richards says selling the building is the best option.
"It's a beautiful building, a historical building but the insides need to be renovated," Richards said. "For that to be a success we want them to put the money into the building, put the money in the building so it can be modernized and be a place people want to go."
Monroe Community College recently signed a five year lease to stay in the building for its downtown campus. Winn Development is expected to renovate the building, investing about $100 to $150 million over 10 years.