Last week, I took to Instagram with a question.
Anyone know these men? They were speaking Engineerese about the Reisz building when I walked past them yesterday. I'd have asked them myself, but I speak no foreign languages except Bier Deutsch.
The Green Mouse since has been told that Team Gahan will soon reveal a deal for the Schmitt family to sell the long moribund Reisz Furniture Warehouse Store to Denton Floyd Real Estate Group, the Louisville developer currently rehabilitating the old M. Fine & Sons factory at the 140 block of East Main.
Apparently Denton Floyd has retained an option on the Reisz building. The Remax Commercial Group website has the building's price as $410,000.
According to a Louisville contractor familiar with the situation, the cost of renovating the building is being placed at $2.5 million, although the contractor said he thinks this figure is far too low, and feels like a better estimate is $4.5 - 6 million.
Presumably the Gahan administration would be incentivizing the building's restoration with the usual array of abatements, and once finished, City Hall would occupy space in the structure.
Note that the City-County Building on Hauss Square is Floyd County's possession, not the city of New Albany's. The city reportedly pays somewhere around $250,000 yearly for rent. A source told the Green Mouse that the figure being quoted for future monthly rent at the salvaged Reisz building would be $22,000, though again the cost of repairs might inflate this figure, which is comparable to the current yearly expenditure.
If the city's participation is approved and financed through the Redevelopment Commission -- a typical City Hall evasive stratagem -- it might conceivably occur without the approval of city council or elected officials other than Mayor Jeff Gahan himself.
As a postscript, the Green Mouse adds that while chatting with the contractor, he observed that his usual sources among New Albanian political operatives seemed to know nothing about the Reisz maneuvering:
"Are your sources Democrats or Republicans?"
"Mostly Republicans. Local Democrats no longer speak with genuine leftists."
"Rest assured, the ranking Democrats in New Albany know all about it, and they're keeping this one down in that bunker that you guys always talk about."
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