Holly Township Declines Offer to Buy Historic Town Hall

Holly Township Declines Offer to Buy Historic Town Hall

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 31, 2017)

Holly, MI – Perhaps the most prominent building along Saginaw Street in Downtown Holly is the Town Hall which currently serves as the offices for Holly Township. Located at the corner of Civic Center and Saginaw Streets, the Town Hall has served as a focal point for community life and government since 1892.  It is also prime real estate in a high-demand Downtown where unique retail and restaurants abound. An offer was made to Township officials to purchase the building, and at a special meeting held Tuesday, Aug. 30, officials voted to decline.

Details of the offer were not revealed, as Township Trustees discussed if they even wanted to sell the property.

“We’ve not listed the building,” said Township Supervisor George Kullis who explained that a potential buyer came in unsolicited, and that he felt it was his duty to present it to the board even though the building had not been up for sale.  “This offer literally just walked in through the front door,” he said.

The amount of the offer was not disclosed, but Township Clerk Karin Winchester said “The offer’s not close to what we had previously discussed before.”

Officials discussed what an ideal sale situation would look like.  Treasurer Mark Freeman said they would need to have a plan in place of where the Township offices would move to before even considering an offer.  The Township would have funds to build new offices or move into an existing space elsewhere.  There is currently about $500 in the capital improvement fund, and there will be money coming in from the recent $394,000 sale of the former Fire Authority Building at 4092 Grange Hall Rd to Dawson Tire & Wheel. The proceeds from the sale will not be available until 2022.

Supervisor Kullis added that a professional real estate appraisal would need to be done before considering a listing or a sale.

Trustee Patrick Feeney spoke about concerns over what type of business might go in to the Town Hall building if it were sold.  “It’s kind of our responsibility to be diligent about what that building comes to be,” he said.  If the building were put up for sale, any qualifying buyer could purchase it and put whatever kind of business they wanted in it as long as it complied with Village ordinances.  Feeney suggested keeping the building off the market so they could have more control over what goes in by not accepting unsolicited, undesirable offers.

Trustees voted not to accept the current offer, and did not make any commitment towards the sale of the property at this time, with Ferman noting that at the time of the Fire Hall listing, Trustees decided to wait on listing the property until the money had come in from the Fire Hall sale.

According to the historic plaque on the side of the building, “Holly’s Town Hall has been the center of community activity since it was built in 1892.  Holly Township in Oakland County was formally organized in 1838 and the Village of Holly was incorporated in 1865. The two local governments decided to join efforts in building a town hall after their nearby rival Fenton in Genessee County erected a town hall in the late 1880s…The two governments share equally in the planning and funding of the $3,000 project. The hall has been used for municipal offices, a fire station, a jail, a polling place and a setting for social, cultural and political gathering.”

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