The controversial sale of the former Joseph A. Conti Jewelers building at 2384 Whitney Ave. is complete, Mayor Scott Jackson announced Wednesday.
The town purchased the building as part of the Memorial Town Hall project back in 2008 and used it as construction offices rather than rent construction trailers for use as offices.
Ideas had been thrown around as to the ultimate fate of the building, that for years was the popular jewelry store. The town at one time considered renovating th building for office use, or tearing it down to use the site for parking or as driveway space for the fire department.
But ultimately town officials felt its best use was to be sold to recoup some of the cost, though the $200,000 Tri-Star Realty, LLC, which owns “Eli's on Whitney” is paying is far less than the $296,200 the town paid for it in 2008, before the recession hit.
“Selling the former Conte Building to Eli’s allows the town to dispose of a now empty and unused building, return it to the tax rolls and recoup the majority of the cost of purchase in 2008 – a win-win scenario for the Town,” Jackson said.
Eli's is expected to use the building to expand the restaurant operation.
The Legislative Council recently approved selling the property to Eli's, though some members said they would have rather held on to the property for the towon's use or tried to sell it on the open market for more money.
But others said the building's condition is so bad that it would be impossible without considerable investment to bring the building back to be able to be used again. The building is slated to be demolished as part of the Town Hall project before turned over to Eli's.