STERLING – The bidding process for moving a building from the Northwestern Steel & Wire site to the Meadowlands Business Park will begin this month.
The building was owned by the city and rented for warehouse space by corn cob processor Best Cob. Now the property of the Greater Sterling Development Corp., it will be moved and repurposed as a mid-sized business incubator.
The GSDC will have the building moved to a lot south of 1005 Commerce Drive, the former site of Anchor Coupling.
The building is in the way of the city’s riverfront redevelopment plans, and officials hoped to remove it last year.
“Things got backed up with Best Cob because there were no engineering drawings for the building, so we had to have new ones drawn up,” Mayor Skip Lee said.
The engineers have completed that job and Best Cob moved out several months ago.
“Nothing is really holding it up at this point,” said Heather Sotelo, GSDC executive director. “We are looking to start the bidding process this month and hope to start moving the building in late fall.”
The large building is blocking road projects that are planned in the Wallace Street area to improve traffic flow and create more space for parking. A roundabout is planned in the Wallace and Avenue A area that would slow down vehicles and improve visibility for the influx of pedestrians expected along the riverfront.
A roundabout near the new Halo Branded Solutions corporate headquarters has been deemed a higher priority, so the city is not sure when the Wallace Street roundabout will be built.
The city had explored a few options for addressing the building. At one point, officials had talked to Best Cob about moving the building into the business park for that company’s use. Best Cob, which only had a handful of people using it, wasn’t interested in buying it.
The city also had considered demolishing the entire structure, but GSDC was interested in using part of the building for additional business incubator space, finding it to be cheaper than putting up a new structure.
The building is about 120,000 square feet, but GSDC needs only about 56,000 square feet.
When the building is gone, fill will have to be added to the ground and an environmental barrier created.
“We’ll punch holes in the slab for drainage purposes, then begin the process of adding fill to the site to bring it up to grade,” City Manager Scott Shumard said.
The city also plans to approach Union Pacific about the possibility of removing an Avenue A railroad crossing. There are noise and safety concerns because of the railroad’s proximity to the redevelopment area.