Steamboat City Council interested in pursuing newspaper building for city offices | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat City Council interested in pursuing newspaper building for city offices

Steamboat Pilot & Today's printing operations were moved to Gypsum, leaving a large amount of warehouse space unused.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs City Council is still interested in pursuing the Steamboat Pilot & Today's current headquarters as a place for city offices despite another offer being on the table for the building.

City officials recently got the results of an architectural assessment that showed the facility could be purchased and then remodeled into a new city hall facility for $6.5 to $7 million.

The former printing press plant could be remodeled into a space for future expansion, City Manager Gary Suiter said.

"We know this city is going to have to be looking at building a new city hall sometime soon," Suiter said. "We're maxed out (here on 10th Street). This building is 60 years old, and it's not energy efficient either.”

Worldwest LLC, the former owner of the newspaper, has been trying to sell the 23,222-square-foot newspaper building and 1.5 acres of nearby land along U.S. Highway 40 for $5.5 million.

The newspaper's new owners are leasing the offices until they find a new home for the newspaper staff.

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Some city council members appeared ready this week to start pursuing the building, while others said they needed more information and time to make a decision.

Most were at least interested in the idea.

"There's really no harm in being second in line at this point," Councilwoman Heather Sloop said.

"I think we could do this as long as we have a long due diligence period built into the contract…." Council President Pro-Tem Jason Lacy responded. "I don't think we should run into a purchase with no contingencies."

Cam Boyd, the listing agent for building, said Wednesday the property is not currently under contract.

"The offer that was on the table, we're still negotiating on that," Boyd said. "But it's still wide open, and we're under no contractual obligation or agreement at this time.

"I'd love to see the city involved in this process," Boyd continued. "I think it's a good building for them to be on that end of town where the public safety building is moving. But I'm not sitting in (the council's) chair either."

Council President Walter Magill on Tuesday said he was frustrated the council did not get an adequate report on the potential for repurposing the newspaper building from the city this summer.

He appeared frustrated by how long it was taking for the city to consider a bid.

Councilwoman Kathi Meyer said the city will never be able to act as fast as other potential buyers.

"We are slow to react, and the private sector will always beat us to the punch," she said.

Information about the other potential buyer of the newspaper building has not been disclosed.

Suiter said he heard the buyers were asking questions of the city's planning department to learn more about what they could do with the property, including possibly subdividing the parcel.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.

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