Interested in buying a 17,000-square-foot fixer-upper on a busy road?
How about 160 scenic acres in Whitewater Township that once was destined to become a landfill?
Both of these properties are owned by Grand Traverse County and expected to go on the market in coming months, The Ticker has learned.
The fixer-upper is the current 51-year-old Health Department Building on Garfield Road. Requests for proposal (RFPs) have been sent to area realtors to handle the sale of the building and are due June 15, according to interim county administrator Dean Bott.
“We plan to open the new Health Department Building on LaFrainier Road in November,” says Bott. “As soon as that is ready, we’ll vacate the old building.”
Mild-spring weather kept construction of the new $6.2 million building on schedule. It sits on 20 acres adjacent to current county offices.
There’s already been some interest in the Garfield Road building, but no action. “We talked with Veterans Affairs about moving in there, but those talks fell through when the building didn’t exactly fit their needs,” says Bott.
This week Bott will tour the building with officials of the Senior Center who might be interested in relocating from the agency’s current location on West Grand Traverse Bay. There’s no price tag set on the building, which needs some updating. The county acquired the three-acre Garfield Road building in 1993 from the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District.
Property No. 2
The Whitewater Township parcel is located on both sides of Sand Lakes Road near Bullhead Lake and is virtually surrounded by state land. It was purchased by the county in 1977 for $60,000 from John and Betty Frederixon.
At the time, county officials planned to use it for a landfill, but those plans changed, and for 35 years the land, known as the Sand Lakes Road property, has sat vacant. A selling price has not been established.
In a strategic planning meeting in January, commissioners were looking for some ready cash and indicated that selling the excess property was a high priority for 2012. But the departure of County Administrator Dennis Aloia, search for his replacement (David Benda of Midland accepted the position in May; he starts this month), and other unforeseen issues stalled the sale of the property. “I’ve received no direction from the board about proceeding with the sale,” says Bott.
In addition to these two properties, the county also owns 40 acres of land in Acme Township near the VASA trailhead.
In a 2011 budget document, Aloia proposed selling both the Whitewater Township acreage and at least a portion of the Acme Township site. “We are recommending that property in both these areas be listed and sold and that the proceeds be returned to help fund Capitol improvements in future years,” he wrote.