County seeks breathing room with Subway building purchase

January 6, 2019

Olmsted County is considering the purchase of a piece of property at the intersection of Fourth Street Southeast and Third Avenue to potentially address increased space needs.

“Right now, it’s room to grow,” said Matt Miller, the county’s director of facilities and building operations.

The administrative committee of the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners was slated on Tuesday next week to review a purchase agreement for the property, which houses a Subway Restaurant at 210 Fourth St. SE, but Miller said the discussion is being postponed as details are finalized.

“It’s really in the seller’s attorney’s hands,” he said, noting the recent holiday season likely played into delays.

The property is owned by Gray Enterprises of Rochester. The owner, as well as the Subway franchise owner, declined to comment with a potential sale pending.

According to Olmsted County records, the 9,849-square-foot property has an estimated value of $357,000 for tax purposes.

Miller said the final purchase price has not been settled.

The land purchase would follow the county’s purchase of an adjacent property along Fourth Street. In September, the county purchased the neighboring office building from Property 408 LLC for $970,000.

The 15,803-square-foot property carries an estimated value of $865,000, according to county records used for tax purposes.

Miller said existing tenants — Schatz Law Firm, Springer Appraisal Associates and Joy Foot and Body Massage — remain in the property at 202-208 Fourth St. SE, but the county is using an empty office suite for storage as it determines its next steps.

Miller said formal plans for the property still need to be developed.

“We’re planning to have some conversations with the county board in 2019 to talk about our long-term space needs, specifically around the justice system,” Miller said.

The county Adult Detention Center and courtrooms, as well as related offices, are housed in the city-county Government Center north of the recently purchased property.

When it comes to the adjacent property, Miller said conversations with commissioners have indicated a willingness to review a purchase agreement, which could be ready for the Jan. 22 county board meeting.

While the proposed Subway building purchase is expected to be removed from the agenda prior to the commissioners’ administrative committee meeting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, the full board is slated to hold a closed session at the end of its 9 a.m. Tuesday meeting to discuss the potential purchase of an undisclosed property.

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