Property attracts no bids
Clintonville RDA considers renovation vs. demolition
By Bert Lehman
After receiving no bids for the property located at 19 Fifth St., the Clintonville Redevelopment Authority (RDA) is exploring what to do with the property.
The RDA discussed its options when it met Nov. 10.
The RDA originally purchased the property from Waupaca County in the fall of 2020 as part of the county’s tax foreclosure program. The RDA paid $1,500 for the property. The property was put out on bid twice, in the hope that a private developer would purchase it and renovate the house on the property. No bids were received either time.
Sharon Eveland, who was the Clintonville city administrator at the time of the meeting, told the RDA that the last bid request was early in the summer.
She said the parameters were changed to allow it to be converted to a commercial property.
“It may possibly be the summer, despite where housing costs are going right now, it may have just been a big undertaking that people weren’t prepared to take at that time (considering) how difficult it is to get contractors,” Eveland said. “I’m not sure, but I’m just concerned that everyone looked at this house and just sees that it’s too much risk considering all the work that needs to get done on it.”
She added this is why she had recommended that the city undertake renovation of the house.
“For us (city) it’s not about profit, as it is about getting a house renovated and in better condition and to improve our property value and just kind of make things nicer,” Eveland said. “It was more about that aspect than trying to make money, so the risk wasn’t as big for us in a sense.”
Eveland said the city must decide what to do with the house.
The city could reconsider taking on the renovation project itself, or it could raze the house on the property, Eveland said.
“We can’t continue to allow it to remain as is because it is not in good condition, it is an eyesore,” Eveland said. “And the whole reason we took this in the first place was so we didn’t have a building to continue to look the way it looks.”
RDA member Brad Rokus suggested waiting until January 2022 and then put it out to bid one more time. If no bids are received, then tear the house down.
Committee Chair Ben Huber said the cost of building materials was high when the previous bid requests went out.
“I think those questions have mostly settled down now,” Huber said.
Eveland said the first bid request was before the cost of building materials increased.
She added that the city could request bids again in January.
“I’d hate to see it torn down because I do think the bones on that house are good,” Eveland said. “I mean it’s got potential if somebody’s willing to put the time and effort into it.”
Without the house on the lot, Eveland said she thinks it will be difficult to sell the lot because of its location.
Huber said he spoke with a couple of potential bidders who thought the restrictions for the property were too stringent.
“It certainly would need to be evaluated, but I’d be careful about making the restrictions too loose because you want to be very careful,” Eveland said.
When asked how much it would cost to raze the house, Eveland said a ballpark figure was probably $10,000-$15,000. In addition to the $1,500 purchase price, the RDA has incurred other expenses in regard to the property.
The RDA took no action on the next step for the property.