The state agency of Nashville suggested putting the Donnelly J. Hill State Office Building, a forty-four year-old building in Memphis, for sale after several months of analysis. The agency opted selling the high-rise state building instead of spending roughly $9.2 million on its renovation.
However Governor Bill Haslam will be the one to decide whether to approve or disapprove the proposal submitted by Steven G. Cates, a Gen. Services Commissioner on Wednesday during the hearing of state budget. The Governor together with his financial advisers will make the final decision on selling Memphis Building and the other five buildings in Chattanooga and Nashville in January during their presentation of budget proposal.
On Thursday the Governor stated that he will put into consideration the impact of the decision on the community and taxpayers. He stated that they were doing their work when they found out that remodeling would cost more compared to filling or building a new space, which is a factor to be considered. The other factor to be considered is its impact on the neighborhood.
Being a former mayor, the Governor shared how he understood the situation and how difficult it would be to give up the building since it has been one of the town’s fabrics so the decision must be evaluated. Therefore they are considering the interest of Tennessee taxpayers and the community. If they would spend $20 million renovating a building when it can be replaced with a new one for $15 million then everyone will agree that it was not a smart decision.
The real estate consulting firm of Chicago rated the 6 buildings as “functionally obsolete”. Tennessee hired the firm to evaluate the state buildings of non-higher education as a portion of a bigger review of how the government operates and manages its properties. The study resulted in the consolidation of numerous offices from rented space into state buildings.
The officials stressed that Memphis building has not been labeled unsafe.
After the report of consultants the department of Cates has been analyzing its plans with the state buildings and has submitted the endorsement on Wednesday to the Governor.
Cates stated that the buildings’ useful life has ended and vacating the building would help the state to save more.
Cates said that they have considered the extensive renovations along with the replacement of major mechanical and electrical systems. But economic comparison has indicated that letting the tenants move into a more productive and efficient work space is better.
No schedule for a move or sale has been made because if ever approved, the budget will for the new space will come into effect in July 1.
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