TREASURE ISLAND — City commissioners took a big step toward moving City Hall when they unanimously approved purchasing the Allied Building at 10451 Gulf Blvd. for $6.35 million on Aug. 6.
Purchase of the building includes acquisition of a contiguous vacant parking lot on 105th Avenue. The property includes 1.42 acres of land and a 37-year-old office building with approximately 19,000 usable square feet and 82 parking spaces.
The property offers twice the amount of parking of the current City Hall location, 82 versus 41 parking spaces, said Amy Davis, finance director and assistant city manager.
Davis said while the building is already suited for office use, it will take about $1.1 million in renovations to build a commission chambers, offices and community spaces. The renovation price includes about $433,000 to upgrade technology and the phone system.
Purchase and renovation of this property, along with adjacent property, will be funded through the issuance of tax-exempt debt through a bank loan.
On June 6, city commissioners authorized the issuance of a note and a bond validation process for an amount not to exceed $8 million, which includes the purchase price, renovation and debt issuance costs.
There will be a supplemental resolution to this ordinance to approve a bank and note, projected to be in November or December, with an anticipated closing immediately following, Davis told commissioners.
The purchase and sale agreement is contingent upon a successful bond validation, due diligence and inspection, obtaining external financing and commission approval. The closing date targeted is Dec. 28, however, it can be extended by the seller as outlined in the agreement and the city, as the buyer, will have up to Jan. 31 to meet all of the closing requirements, Davis explained.
Mayor Larry Lunn called the purchase a “great deal.” He noted an earlier estimate that a new City Hall-Municipal Services Complex could cost the city about $21 million.
Even if a new public safety building has to be built, it should only cost a few million dollars; the city would still save about $10 million, “which translates into a substantial savings for taxpayers,” the mayor explained. “I think this is a great opportunity.“
Commissioner Tyler Payne said “this will be a great alternative to what we were discussing last year. … We will create an element of continuity between the beach parking and parking we already have with the community center; it will really link all those properties together. It will provide a lot of extra parking spaces for the weekend and evenings for people that are visiting.”
Commissioner Saleene Partridge said she likes “the fact that we looked at all other options; although this sounds like a large amount, and it is a large amount, it’s definitely more cost effective than all the alternatives. I’m excited about this. It’s a great opportunity to bring some continuity, but also it’s the best cost-saving factor in what we need to accomplish.”