$1 sale of downtown Manitowoc Mirro property to Boys & Girls Club gets Committee of the Whole approval
Alisa M. Schafer, Manitowoc Herald Times ReporterPublished 12:46 p.m. CT May 13, 20200:570:57
The Mirro tower July 27 in downtown Manitowoc. (Photo: Josh Clark/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)
MANITOWOC – The Manitowoc Committee of the Whole approved a proposal by the Boys & Girls Club of Manitowoc to buy a portion of the former downtown Mirro site for $1 during their meeting Tuesday night.
The vote to move forward with an official agreement was unanimous.
The plan calls for the Boys and Girls Club to build a $3-$4 million facility on the vacant property in the 1500 block of Washington Street. The facility would only take up half of the available property, which leaves the half located on Franklin street to be developed by other businesses.
“This is a very positive step forward toward developing this land. The need for a Boys and Girls Club is apparent and this location is a perfect fit for them,” Mayor Justin Nickels said in a Facebook post, Wednesday morning.
The plan also calls for the city to clean up contaminants found on the property — costing an estimated $253,000 — and continue to monitor the site via state guidelines. The city and Club administrators would work together to submit grants for clean up funding. ADVERTISING
The Club would then fill the remediated areas — at an estimated cost of $200,000 to $400,000 — and build a 15,000-square-foot building along with a parking lot and some green space.
The agreement would require the Boys & Girls Club to finance the project within four years or the site would return to the city, unless the delays are due to environmental cleanup issues.
This vinyl covering on the fence surrounding the former Mirro site on Washington Street is the first public art project from the Rahr-West Public Arts Committee. “Art Forward: Hop, Skip, Jump into our Future” uses the silhouettes of local youth to depict children playing. (Photo: Alisa M. Schafer/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)
If the agreement is approved by the Common Council during its next meeting on May 18, then the Club would begin its fundraising campaign, according to Bill Bertsche, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Manitowoc County.
The site had been home to the Mirro Aluminum Company since 1909. The company employed thousands of people and was an essential part of Manitowoc’s identity until it closed their doors in 2003.
Since then, the building changed hands frequently, many of the owners using it to salvage scrap material only to abandon the building again and create an eyesore near downtown Manitowoc.
The city acquired the property, and the rundown building, in 2016, and demolished the building the following year. No other businesses have moved into the property since then, making the Boys & Girls Club of Manitowoc County the first to make an offer.
Contact Alisa Schafer at (920) 686-2105 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @AlisaMSchafer.