By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK — A recently submitted letter of intent by City Council to the owners of the former AT&T building is a sign the city is serious about relocating its offices.
The council also signed a letter of intent to sell the front four acres of the current City Hall, 16850 Southfield Road. The city would retain the rear three acres. It’s unknown who the potential buyer is of the four acres.
City Council met in closed session during a special meeting July 29 to discuss both properties.
As for the city’s potential new digs — the former AT&T building, 4000 Allen Road — real estate listings show the building as taken off the market.
The city was looking at four options for relocating city offices, and Councilman Harry Sisko said the council sees this option most appropriate.
When Emergency Manager Joyce Parker first revealed plans months earlier, the city was looking at leasing. Now it is entering into negotiations to buy the 35,000-square-foot structure.
Parker did not return calls as of presstime regarding the negotiations. However, when Parker first revealed the plan for the building as an option months ago, she said the structure offered more space than the city needed, which would allow room for expansion. She said the property also offered adequate parking.
One of the advantages the city first saw in the property was that the building owner would be responsible for upkeep. This changes if the city buys the building.
Yet, one of the negative sides of this building was the lease payments, said Parker when first revealing the plan. She said the lease payments over time could be comparable to new construction.
Sisko said a move is needed.
“It’s a disaster over there,” Sisko said of the current City Hall. “There’s a mold issue. There are so many issues over there. There have been years and years of neglect.
“It was bought in the ’70s as temporary quarters. Here we are in 2014 and we’re still there.”
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at [email protected])