The Pueblo County Commissioners are hoping to sell three historic properties and that could mean an infusion of about $1 million and relief from annual maintenance costs.
The commissioners gave Facilities Director Sean Tapia direction to move forward with accepting offers on the Bohen Mansion, home to the Planning and Zoning offices at 229 W. 12th St.; the current home to the Impossible Players at 1201 N. Main St.; and the current location of the Department of Social Services child advocacy center at 1426 N. Grand Ave.
Tapia said his office had appraisals done on all three properties, taking into account market conditions, the structural integrity of the properties, their historic nature and upgrades made by the county over the years. The result was an appraisal of $410,000 for the Bohen Mansion, $295,000 for the Grand Avenue property and $270,000 for the Impossible Players building.
Tapia said his office will develop minimum prices based on those appraisals and the county will accept bid proposals through its purchasing department.
All three buildings were purchased by the county in the 1990s when it was expanding its campus, but trying to keep everything centrally located. Since then, the county has built a new judicial building, which has opened up the old location of the courts and probation offices and created a wealth of empty office space.
Selling the three historic buildings would allow the county to move the government functions into existing office space and eliminate the need for costly repairs and maintenance for the old buildings.
Tapia told commissioners that the county is committed to helping the Impossible Players find a venue for its December production if the building sells.
Apart from the Imps and the Career Building Academy using a part of the building for a classroom, the county has used it for storage, Commissioner Terry Hart said.
Commission Chairwoman Liane “Buffie” McFadyen said she understood the logic behind the sales, but couldn’t help but feel a little concern over the future of the historic buildings, once the county vacates them.
“That’s not to say that these buildings will be cared for in the same manner as (Planning) Director Joan Armstrong has cared for the Bohen Mansion,” she said.
McFadyen also said that she would like to see specific times for any potential tours of the property so as not to disrupt daily operations in the building.
Commissioner Sal Pace also noted that while selling the properties would mean an infusion of cash to the county and less annual maintenance costs, it could also mean a slight boost to the tax collections, since the three properties would be added to the private property tax rolls.
If the direct approach of accepting offers through the county’s purchasing department doesn’t work, the county will consider hiring a professional Realtor and if that doesn’t work the county will consider going to auction.