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Waxahachie city council may condemn downtown building

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WAXAHACHIE - On Monday night, Feb. 5, the Waxahachie City Council authorized for the property across the street from city hall to be condemned.

Assistant City Manager Michael Scott said the city was in no immediate rush to take formal actions to condemn the building, but according to the resolution approved by the council, the city could have condemned the property if an agreement had not been reached by 9 a.m. on Feb. 12.

The property, located at the 400 block of South Rogers St., was being leased by Waxahachie Building Supply and owned by two different property owners.

The city made an offer and closed on the north portion of the property the previous week for approximately $400,000, only valued at $81,670 in 2006, according to the Ellis Central Appraisal District.

The southern property was valued at $114, 800 at the same time, but negotiations were not completed on this portion and an agreement hadn't been reached.

'When I submitted the contract to the current owner I was not aware of any interest from the city,' said a manager with Sydoc LLC, Gary Lankston.

Lankston was at the city council meeting and said, 'We are willing to discuss the issue.'

Then, Lankston requested the council table the matter until he could discuss the issue.

Scott said the city would compensate Sydoc for its troubles and hoped to continue negotiations to buy out the contract. Scott went on to say City Attorney Steve Chapman would begin negotiations with the group in an attempt to avoid any condemnation hearings.

'It is a situation where another group has a contract on the building and our offer was rejected,' Scott said.

'We are now in a situation where we need the building as a public necessity.'

According to Scott, the city had been pursuing a few different options and had several ideas for possibly developing the south part of downtown, including the train depot.

He said there was a need for more parking and office space for the city and the city saw the importance of buying or obtaining the property and buildings.

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