City-owned vacant buildings, lots to hit market

CLINTON — Three city-owned properties are set to hit the public market as the city of Clinton continues to rid its inventory of vacant buildings and lots and get them back on the property-tax roll.

The Clinton City Council Committee of the Whole on Tuesday voted to forward City Administrator Matt Brooke’s proposal to sell property at 212 Fourth Ave. South, along with 401-405 N. Fourth St. The latter includes a vacant building along with a small parcel of land. Each property, according to officials, was “acquired via tax sale certificate assignment.”

The sale process will include the city partnering with local Realtors to market the properties as the proposal is officially approved at the council’s July 23 meeting, with the Realtors surveying those properties and concluding appropriate market values. The property at 212 Fourth Ave. South, described as being “behind J&D Steakhouse” by Brooke, is in admittedly rough shape and needs rehabilitation before potential future use, officials have stated.

“It’s poor,” city Building and Neighborhood Services Supervisor Jeff Chapman said of the structure’s condition. “We’ve had multiple, and I mean multiple, (squatters) in here since we boarded it up...it’s in poor condition. We’ve seen signs of water damage from a roof leak, things of that nature.”

Brooke said the upcoming conversations will include multiple Realtors when it comes to the next steps in the marketing processes.

“We think there is potential amongst all this,” Brooke said. “But there has to be some pretty big things to be done.”

Officials are prepared to accept a fairly low bid for the downtown property, as Clinton City Council member Cody Seeley noted that the city would be “money ahead” simply by not spending large funds to tear the structure down in the future.

The properties at 401-405 N. Fourth St. are currently zoned R-2, denoting a residential use. However, the structure and adjoining land could be turned into a number of things, Brooke said, including a business such as a restaurant. Should it be transformed to just that, parking needs would arise, the city administrator acknowledged.

Interest has already reached Brooke’s desk regarding the properties, he reported Tuesday night.

“There have been some folks in the area who have shown interest, so we’re hoping they come back and take a look, too,” Brooke said. “We’d really like to see, in a six-month time frame (after sale), a facade change, and then give (the new owners) a little more time for the inside to get things up and running.”