2017-09-13 / News

Lexington DDA inks agreement to buy Fraser building

BY MARGARET WHITMER
Reporter

The Lexington Downtown Development Association has signed a purchase agreement to buy the former Fraser Manufacturing Corp. building on Boynton Street from the Croswell-Lexington School District.

According to the agreement, dated Aug. 24, 2017, the sale price is $175,000 plus closing fees and all costs associated with recording the required deed and any loan documents.

The seller is responsible for cost of title insurance and state and county transfer tax, if any.

Closing shall take place on or before Jan. 31, 2018.

Fraser Manufacturing Corporation, 7235 Boynton St., was founded in 1946. Fraser produced gun mounts and other parts for the U.S. military and at its peak had 100 employees.

The building was donated to the Cros- Lex School District in February 2013 when co-owners Joe and Ken Wilhelm retired.

Cros-Lex Superintendent Dan Gilbertson said the village has considered buying the property for the past several years.

"From my understanding, the village and school district discussed the sale of the property a couple of years ago," he said.

This spring the new school board decided to sell the property and asked that the school district form a committee to handle the process to promote the sale, Gilbertson said.

"Our committee wanted to reach out first to the village of Lexington to determine if there was still an interest to purchase the property from the district before we pursued a commercial realtor," he said.

"We value all of our community partnerships with the Cros-Lex School District, and our committee believed it was appropriate and important for the district to approach the village of Lexington first."

The district's committee approached the village this summer.

On July 19, the DDA voted to offer a purchase price of $160,000, following a closed session. The vote was unanimous, with two members absent.

DDA members, on a motion from Village President Kristin Kaatz, seconded by DDA Chair Katherine Calamita, unanimously voted to ask the Lexington council to approve a $225,000 loan from the North Shores Mobile Home Park to buy and renovate the Fraser property.

However, this request was not on the village council's Aug. 24 agenda and not acted upon.

Neither Kaatz nor Calamita could be reached for comment regarding what the village plans to do with the property.

According to the purchase agreement, the village has 90 days to conduct a Phase I environmental report and such additional analysis which may include a full or partial Phase II study.

The costs of all environmental reports and additional analysis would be paid for by the DDA. If the DDA is not satisfied with the environmental assessment, it may withdraw from the purchase and obtain a refund of deposit if notice of withdrawal is given within the 90-day due diligence period.

Gilbertson stated that possible environmental tests could be of the building's walls, floor and soil.

"The results from any tests to be returned from the state can take a few weeks and we agreed to give the village a cushion of time," he said.

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