The downtown Springfield building that housed Walt’s Furniture for more than 50 years is now property of the city of Springfield.
The city bought the 40,000 square foot building earlier this month at auction for a total price of $111,000. The purchase price was $101,000, with a 10 percent buyer’s commission.
City Manager Brett Bennett said the city bought the building in the interest of fostering downtown development.
“There are several things we’ve discussed,” he said, ”one of which is potentially working with the IDA to recruit business. A couple of people have called with startups, needing a bigger space. We have lot of ideas of how it could help downtown development.”
Bennett said the Effingham IDA wouldn’t necessarily provide incentives for potential users but could help recruit occupants. The city is considering other uses for the building, which has been empty since Walt’s closed two years ago.
“We’ve talked about doing some other things that are city functions,” he said, “none of which is concrete. We’ll have much more in-depth conversations in the next several weeks.”