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FOR SALE: Old Jail - St. Louis County Releases Request for Proposals

PRESS RELEASE

June 25, 2009                             CONTACT:  Tony Mancuso, Property Manager
                                                                 St. Louis County Courthouse
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                            Duluth, MN   218-725-5085


                                    “FOR SALE: OLD ST. LOUIS COUNTY JAIL”
                                     St. Louis County Releases Request for Proposals
 
Today St. Louis County officials released a Request for Proposals (RFP) with the hope of soliciting a party willing and able to present a feasible and prudent alternative to the demolition of the old county jail. The county is seeking a developer with the financial means and professional experience necessary to develop an adaptive reuse of the property. To receive a complete RFP document, interested parties should contact Property Management Director Tony Mancuso at (218) 725-5085, or send written requests by fax to (218) 725-5086, or by e-mail to
macusot@co.st-louis.mn.us, or mail the request to the address listed below:
 
St. Louis County Property Management Department 
Attention: Tony Mancuso, Director
Re: Old St. Louis County Jail
100 North 5th Avenue West, Room #2
Duluth, MN  55802

Constructed in 1924, the old St. Louis County Jail is located directly behind, and is considered to be part of,  the Duluth Historic Civic Center District featuring the county courthouse, federal building, and city hall. In 1996 the jail was condemned for prisoner holding by the State of Minnesota, Department of Corrections, and plans for a replacement jail began. The county’s interest in divesting itself of the old jail has been published on over 20 different occasions since 1998, and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota has listed the building on its nationally publicized “Ten Most Endangered List” three times: in 2004, 2008, and again in 2009.

This exposure resulted in the county showing the property to over 60 individuals and groups, plus responding to more than two dozen telephone inquiries over the last decade. Developers from across the country, including New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis, have shown an interest in reusing the old jail, but no legitimate offer for the property has been received. Because of this lack of interest, until now the county has not formally put the property up for sale according to the rigors of Minnesota law governing the disposal of surplus public real estate. Should no acceptable bid be received through the RFP process, state law requires that the county list the property with a broker, who will be selected based upon experience in the sale of historic properties. If no developer is found after these processes have been exhausted, demolition of the structure will be a final recourse.

Building specifications:
The building’s interior is 47 feet wide by 128 feet in length, and is constructed of steel, bricks, granite, concrete, and terra cotta. The total area of the five (5) floor building is approximately 30,000 square feet. There are 10 parking spaces adjacent to the building, and the site is approximately 0.56 acres in size. This facility is not currently in use. The official advertisement offering the building for sale can be viewed at the county’s website: 
www.co.st-louis.mn.us


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