AUSTIN EDITION Deal nearly done on Usem's purchase

But sale of roundhouse addition hits snag

By Roxana Orellana

The Housing and Redevelopment Authority is buying the Usem's Inc. property at 200 Second St. N.E. for $225,000.

The sale is contingent upon four items, including an environmental study and a land appraisal of at least $200,000. The council added a contingency that calls for owner Tom Sherman to reinvest the sale money into a new auto dealership within the city.


Usem's main building at 219 Second Ave. N.E. also is for sale.

The closing date would be at the end of September.

In other business, the Old Milwaukee roundhouse addition may go back on the market. For the last six months the city has been working with Mark J. Stevens and Edward Vankirk on the sale of the property.

Community Development Director Craig Hoium said the pair requested some changes from the original development plan, but the HRA denied them.

Initially the terms included two phases for the development of about eight to nine acres. Approximately 7,200 square feet would be developed in the first phase. The second phase, which would include 10 business condos, would be completed within 24 months of the closing date.

According to Hoium, Stevens and Vankirk did not want to pay for the extension of water and sewer lines to the site and requested that the timeline for development be changed to 48 months.

Commissioner Dick Lang said 48 months was too long to have the property sitting empty. The HRA is willing to go with the initial plan for the site; if Stevens and Vankirk are not, for sale signs will go back up.

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