City plans to sell old American Legion building




After a few months in limbo, the Garden City Commission decided Tuesday to put the old American Legion building up for sale.

A proposal to turn the building, located at 125 Pine St., into apartments got shut down in April due to concerns about allowing first-floor residential units in the central business district.

The city commission voted to deny a waiver that would have allowed the project to move forward, but didn't decide at that time what to do with the building.

CCS Properties, LLC, owned by Carlos and Candace Gamino, submitted a proposal that was accepted by the city commission last fall to renovate the old building into several high-end apartments. The issue then went through the planning commission to address the property's zoning.

Due to its split-level design, the building didn't fit well under existing central business district zoning. The planning commission opposed changing zoning ordinances to allow ground-floor apartments downtown because of the potential impact on the character of the area if other building owners wanted to do the same.

Candace Gamino thanked the city for the opportunity to acquire the building.

"I hope whoever gets this building respects it as much as we did. It is a beautiful building. It is a part of Garden City's heritage," she said.

The commission asked city staff to determine a fair price for the building before listing it for sale. Last year, the building was appraised at $380,000, but the city was considering selling it to the Gaminos for $1,000.

Other options the commission considered Tuesday included making another request for proposals, using an auction, or taking bids to dispose of the building.

In response to a commission question, City Manager Matt Allen said there have been only a few indirect inquiries about the building the last few months.

"We've received second-hand calls from people representing other people, or people inquiring on behalf of someone else. A little buzz, but I wouldn't say anything like someone coming in and dropping off a proposal," Allen said.

In other business:

* Commissioners rejected the only bid received for construction and assembly of substation No. 10, which would add transformer capacity to the city's electric grid, because the bid was more than $385,000 higher than the engineer's estimate of $250,000. The city will revise the scope of work and rebid the project.

* Commissioners approved establishing a Rural Housing Incentive District and redevelopment plan for the Chappel Heights Phase 1 housing development, generally located east of Jennie Barker Road and south of Mary Street. The project includes eight, four-unit apartment buildings and 47 lots for duplexes and single-family homes.

* Commissioners approved a resolution stating that the city is considering an RHID for the Reserves at Prairie Ridge Phase II. The development will consist of two 16-unit apartment buildings along North Campus Drive near the 32-unit phase I complex at 3201 Campus Drive that was completed a year ago.

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