UPDATE: Watertown’s city-owned Wells Fargo building declared surplus property  (Audio)

June 20, 2023
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–The Watertown City Council has taken another step toward potentially selling the city-owned Wells Fargo Bank building.

The city bought the building more than 2 1/2 years ago, with the intention of renovating it into a new City Hall.

But Gray Construction of Watertown submitted the only renovation bid, and it was millions of dollars over budget.

Tuesday’s action by the council declaring the building as surplus, allows them to solicit bids from private developers interested in buying it.

City Manager Amanda Mack says by declaring it surplus property, it opens the door for the city to potentially sell it through a sealed bid process, by auction, or through a realtor. But she says Tuesday’s action does not guarantee it will be sold….

Earlier this spring at a city council work session, a large group of folks packed the city council chambers to speak in support of leaving a new City Hall somewhere in the downtown area.

Mayor Ried Holien had this message for that group at Tuesday’s meeting…

The city bought the bank building for $1.3 million, and spent $380,000 on design fees as part of a potential renovation.

Those design fees cannot be recovered.