A new $4.2 million development could soon be coming to downtown DeWitt. The city of DeWitt sold the lot at 110 S. Bridge St. to a developer for just $1.
Reed Insurance is currently located at 108 W. Main Street in downtown DeWitt, but owner Andrew Joslyn needs more space. DeWitt City Administrator Daniel Coss and DeWitt Mayor Susan Leeming said one of the city's top priorities is retaining existing businesses downtown.
"Andy's business, Reed Insurance, has been a great business in our downtown for many, many years," Leeming said.
So, the city sold Joslyn the vacant land across the street at 110 S. Bridge for just $1.
"A dollar sounds cheap, but, the tax base that is added into the downtown district certainly makes up for that," Coss said.
Plus, Leeming said, the lot has been vacant for years.
"Building on that lot is just very challenging," Leeming said.
"It's an awkward-shaped lot...," Coss said. "The costs increase, because of the shape of the lot."
Couple that with higher construction costs, and the estimated cost of the project is $4.2 million.
Joslyn said it was too early to comment on the project.
"There are some stat programs that help with economic development in traditional downtown districts, so the developer, Andy, he's pursuing some of those and they will be necessary to make the development happen," Coss said.
Leeming said, though the site has been inspected and is ready for development, "there are a lot of hurdles left to get over before this is a done deal, but this is a great opportunity and we're certainly hoping that it will come through."
If it does go through, it will be the first new building in downtown DeWitt since 2013.
Leeming said she is hopeful the three-story building will also have apartments.
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