City council unanimously approves bid for new city hall remodel at Banner Bank building

Published on Wed, Jul 4, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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The city of Blaine will move ahead with renovating two floors of the recently purchased Banner Bank building that is the site for a new city hall.

City council members have unanimously approved a $306,900 contract with Ferndale-based Emerald Builders to renovate the third and fourth floors of the building located at the corner of Martin and 4th streets.

The company’s bid was the lowest of three submitted to the city and was about $17,000 lower than the second-lowest offering.
Blaine community development director Michael Jones said the city expects to give Emerald Builders permission by July 9 to begin work on the 7,000 square feet portion of the building the city will occupy.

Barring any unforeseen delays, Jones expects the work to be completed in 60 days and for city staff to start moving in early September.

Under the currentschedule, Jones said the city offices will be closed on September 7 to move computer systems to the new building. The city has not yet decided whether staff will take care of the move themselves or hire a moving company.
“We’re evaluating how much we have to move and what’s the most practical way to do that,” Jones said.

City officials closed the deal on the Banner Bank building in March and will pay $1.8 million for the building over the next 10 years. The city will rely on about $50,000 in rent per year from the building’s current tenants to help offset the $93,150-per-year debt payments on the building.

City staff budgeted about $400,000 for renovations to the building which will convert the fourth floor into the city’s municipal court and city council chambers.

Renovation work on the third floor will be relatively minor and include adding a service window to the utility billing office.
The third floor will house the city’s finance, administrative and community development offices.

The current city hall building on H Street will most likely be demolished due to structural and interior issues. City officials are reportedly in discussions with a private investor to replace the current city hall with a civic center that could house various community activities.