City unsuccessful in first attempt to buy Fred’s building

The now-empty Fred's interior
The large interior space would be subdivided for the two departments plus courtroom and boardroom.
November 12th, 2019     Government & Politics

By J. Lynn West


So far, the City of New Albany has been unsuccessful in efforts to purchase the former Fred’s building downtown.

The exterior of Fred's

The 17,000 square foot building comes with a large parking area.

The building had been advertised for sale as part of the closing of the store here and, eventually, the company.

New Albany had submitted a bid on the 17,000 square foot building and parking area but before it could be possibly accepted, the sale of Fred’s property moved into bankruptcy court.

Mayor Tim Kent said that apparently the bankruptcy judge awarded the building here to a portfolio buyer who bought several, or possibly even all, of the buildings.

It’s not clear whether the action was based on bid prices or simply that selling buildings as a group was more expeditious for the court.

Mayor Kent said the next step is to try to see who purchased the New Albany building and see if it can still be acquired by the city for a reasonable price.

City officials have been studying the need for a new police department building as well as one for the light, gas and water department for several years. It’s likely that the Fred’s building could be renovated at a considerably lower cost than purchasing land and constructing two new buildings.

The building would be large enough for both departments, plus a municipal courtroom and city boardroom, with some space left over.

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