A Jefferson Street storefront known as the "Snow blower Building" for the past decade or so could soon be known for something a bit more inviting.
The Wadena Development Authority is looking to become the new owners of the building after coming to a purchase agreement for $32,500. While the WDA does not long to get into competition with other potential property investors they saw this property was in need of intervention.
"We don't want to compete," Development Authority director Dean Uselman said. "But we do want to clean up our downtown. We're not looking to make a profit."
After the property had been shown to numerous interested parties since last winter, it became apparent that the condition of the building was not attractive to most buyers.
Mold, deteriorating interior and updates throughout were needed since the building has only been used for storage for many years.
"It will be a big project," Development Authority director Dean Uselman said. "It will be nice to have that cleaned up and dressed up."
The hope is to get Sentence to Serve involved in clearing out the building, while a mold mitigation team will have to handle the mold issues. The cost of the building and renovation costs are paid for from the WDA funding source, largely from a real estate tax levy. Buying a property others are avoiding in an effort to sell it and get it back on tax rolls means more money rolling back into their tax fund that otherwise might not be there. It's also looked at as a way to dress up the downtown that's already seeing a number of improved storefronts in recent years.
Uselman said they were closing on the property Aug. 27.
"It's my hope that we get it renovated quickly," Uselman said. They then hope to sell it shortly after. It was talked about as a potential incubator space to help new businesses ease into a retail space or the right buyer might scoop this up for a number of applications as has been the trend for much of 2018 and 2019 in Wadena as several properties have seen renovations for new businesses.