Hortonville sells old admin building
Law firm acquires former village office for $40,000
By Scott Bellile
A local attorney has purchased Hortonville’s former village administrative office with plans of moving his law firm there next month.
Rene L’Esperance purchased the property at 118 N. Mill St. for $40,000 on Nov. 6. Coldwell Banker closed the real estate deal.
The property had been vacant since June 2014, when construction on the Hortonville Municipal Services Center finished and the administrative office moved there, Village of Hortonville Clerk-Treasurer Lynne Mischker said.
L’Esperance said he hopes to move L’Esperance Law into its new home Dec. 1. He has been renting an office at 204 W. Main St. since February, and before that he worked in Appleton.
L’Esperance bought the Mill Street building because he’s ready to settle down in Hortonville, he said. He also didn’t get the walk-ins he expected to on Main Street, citing a lack of privacy for his clients.
“I don’t know if people want to come to a lawyer and be sitting in front of a window,” L’Esperance said. “I think [118 N. Mill St.] fits my needs a lot better.”
L’Esperance said he is painting and working on flooring inside. He likes the property’s privacy, size, space and brickwork.
“I just think it looks like a professional building,” L’Esperance said.
Mischker said the sale returns the building onto the tax roll, benefitting the village, and it’s no longer paying utility bills or realtor fees.
She and Village Administrator Diane Wessel said because village workers are excited to have Hortonville’s public services centralized at the Hortonville Municipal Services Center, it’s easier to let go of 118 N. Mill St.
“Being here is much better for customer service,” Wessel said.
History of 118 N. Mill St.
The building at 118 N. Mill St. was an AT&T switching office before the Village of Hortonville purchased it and moved its administrative office there in 1990, Mischker said.
Plans to build a municipal services center had been underway decades before it was built in 2014. Mischker said 118 N. Mill St. was intended to be a temporary home for the administrative office in the 1990s.
“That temporary building turned into 24 years,” Mischker said. “It was supposed to be something like five to seven years. Less than 10 for sure. It just didn’t work out.”
Mischker said problems with borrowing money and eventually the Great Recession halted opportunities to build.
Proposed sites for the Hortonville Municipal Services Center were Miller Park; MidCon Products; or remaining at 118 N. Mill St., but demolishing an adjacent house to expand.