Developers look at Sandusky City Hall

SANDUSKY City hall is a hot commodity. More than a dozen developers braved subzero te
May 24, 2010



City hall is a hot commodity.

More than a dozen developers braved subzero temperatures and sloppy driving conditions Friday to attend a walk-through of 222 Meigs St.

Although the walk-through was mandatory for those interested in submitting a proposal for the city hall relocation project, officials said the high turnout was a surprise.

"It went really well," said Scott Schell, the city's economic development specialist. "There aren't a lot of projects out there. The developers need the jobs."

At the meeting, Schell provided the developers with a map of all the city properties that could potentially be used for the city hall project.

The map included some surprising locations, including Adams Junior High School and the Jackson Street Pier.

Schell said the map was mostly a visual tool for developers, so residents shouldn't expect a waterfront city hall.

"Obviously, we're not going to build it on Jackson Street Pier," he said.

But developers in attendance said they appreciated the city's willingness to explore all options.

Jim Donelan, director of construction for Vintage Development in Willoughby, said all the available properties will entice developers.

"I liked the open-endedness," he said. "We'll probably submit a bid. I'm sure the other developers will too."

The city also gave a walk-through for the Keller Building.

Although the Keller tour wasn't mandatory, developers Jeffrey Wray of Dayton and Tom Zuchowski of Cleveland still showed for the event. Other developers chose to reschedule because of the weather.

Schell said interest in the Keller Building has also been high. He's already received 12-15 inquiries since sending out requests for proposal last month.

He said some developers are getting creative, like three entities who are "pooling their resources" to make a bid.

Proposals for city hall and the Keller Building are due Feb. 20.

City Hall must be relocated because the Marina District hotel will be on city hall's current location.