Business owner and developer Terry Javers had the highest bid to buy the condemned Trent City Hall at auction last week.
Javers, who along with his wife, Sarah, own Steve’s Bar & Grill, plan to tear the building down and replace it with new development. He paid $30,000 for the property at the March 18 auction.
There were at least four bidders on the property, and the opening bid was $8,500.
The town of Trent moved its office and equipment out of the 50-foot by 100-foot building Feb. 1, 2020, when the roof over the shop area started to cave in. Engineers and insurance representatives have said the building is unsafe for people and property to be inside. The town board declared it surplus property and put it up for public auction.
A caveat of the sale was that the new owner would tear it down or repair it to a safe condition.
Javers, who has development property in Brandon, is going to put numbers together to see if he would be able to build a six-plex apartment building on the site once the old building is gone. The rental property would be two stories with three apartments on each floor.
Javers said the building, which is next to his bar, needs to go. “I don’t want the building here anymore. It’s just deteriorating.”
Other buyers were interested in fixing the building to use as storage or possibly removing the back half and using the front portion.
Mayor Jonathan Damm said the auction went very well, and the city is pleased with the sale and Javer’s plans.
“It increases your tax base,” he said. It will also improve the looks of Trent’s main drag through town to remove a dilapidated building, he said.
When the city offices were moved out of the building, finance office Kim Nelson worked from home, and the town purchased a shop storage building in another area of Trent for its equipment. A new office space is being carved out of a portion of the bleacher area at the Trent Gym.