FAIRBORN — Fairborn council has authorized the city to continue the buying process of the former American Legion Dignam-Whitmore Post 526 facility, located at 526 Legion Lane at the corner of Main and Broad streets.
City Manager Rob Anderson explained to council during the Jan. 16 regular meeting that American Legion officials had been facing financial hardship and approached the city approximately a year ago to ask for help paying off its mortgage, which was about $470,000. In turn, the city approached the bank who was handling the mortgage but was told that the property was worth approximately $600,000.
“The American Legion is a great organization and we wanted to do everything we can to help them but at the time it didn’t make sense for the city to pursue that,” Anderson said during the presentation to council.
The American Legion Dignam-Whitmore Post 526 has since moved to 300 Main St. while the former facility has since been put into a receivership by the bank to a Realtor. The building has sat empty awaiting a new tenant for more than a year. No offers have been made to purchase the building.
As a result, the price for the facility has been reduced, according to Anderson. The city negotiated and wrote a contract to purchase the facility for $350,000, which was accepted by the bank contingent upon council approval to move forward with the buying process.
Council granted the city the needed authorization Jan. 16. However, the buying process is in the midst of a 30-day or more hold due to the receivership status of the facility. The authorization granted by council only approved Anderson to move forward with the process. The authorization did not finalize the purchase.
“The deal at that number makes sense given what we know could potentially happen at that site,” Anderson said. “We weren’t sure if the bank was going to take it, but it was the highest and best price we could offer at the time.”
He reported that the facility has been maintained through its years with normal wear and tear and the need for minor upkeep due to the building being empty over the last year.
“We are aware of the potential of other users who might have a use for this building,” Anderson said. “We want to make sure we’re doing what’s best for the city and for the property and make sure we can come to an agreement to get the property used … We’re going to move forward and find a user who makes the most sense.”
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.