RDA, SIST in talks over blighted property

Focus is 214-216 S. Main St.

City officials are mum on the details but have confirmed that the Shawano Redevelopment Authority is actively negotiating with the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology on possibly acquiring one of SIST’s vacant downtown properties.

The property at 214-216 S. Main St. was the subject of a court-ordered inspection last year that showed it was a health and safety hazard and was structurally unsound.

The RDA in April initiated proceedings that could lead to condemnation of the property unless a sale price can be negotiated with SIST.

The city had an appraisal of the property done as a first step in those negotiations.

That appraisal deemed the property virtually worthless.

According to the appraisal, the building at 214 S. Main St. would be worth $42,000 as a vacant lot.

However, demolition of the building was estimated to cost anywhere from $68,000 to $100,000, which led appraisers to place the property’s value at “zero dollars.”

The much smaller and landlocked adjacent property at 216 S. Main was valued at $5,300 without the existing building on it. The cost of demolishing that building was estimated at $8,000 to $13,000.

SIST had an opportunity to have its own counter-appraisal done.

City Administrator Brian Knapp said he could not divulge whether SIST has offered a counter-appraisal, or the status of the negotiations.

The RDA met in closed session to discuss the matter Wednesday and afterward voted to continue negotiating.

Knapp said it was encouraging that SIST has come to the table.

The group has not always been responsive to overtures from the city.

The RDA earlier this year asked SIST to provide plans for either renovation or removal of the properties but never got a response, despite several time extensions, according to city officials.

“We appreciate the property owner’s willingness to engage in negotiations,” Knapp said.