PdC RDA makes verbal offer to buy Blackhawk Junction Mall

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By Ted Pennekamp

 

During the Crawford County Budget Hearing Tuesday morning, County Treasurer Deanne Lutz told the County Board that the city of Prairie du Chien had met in closed session during their City Council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 5 and then with the County Delinquent Tax Committee on Nov. 6. Then, the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) of Prairie du Chien made a verbal offer to buy Blackhawk Junction Mall from the county for $612,000. The RDA, which is a board that advises the city, approved the offer at its last meeting.

Lutz said the city RDA is conferring with its attorney about terms of the offer and whether they want to make an official written offer.

Lutz said $612,000 would cover the cost of the delinquent taxes, interest and penalties owed by the previous owner of Blackhawk Junction Mall, Blackhawk Junction LLC of Madison. It would also cover the costs incurred by the county in cleaning up and repairing portions of the property. 

The city and the county entered into a verbal agreement on May 29 whereby the county would give the city six months to work with county leaders to initiate a strategic development plan for Blackhawk Junction Mall and to decide whether the city wanted to purchase the property. The six-month verbal agreement ends at the end of November and Lutz sent a letter to the city stating that the city needs to make a formal offer by Dec. 1, or the county will attempt to sell the property by other means.

Also, if the city makes a formal offer, the county can decide to accept the offer or not.

County Board member Gerald Krachey said the city owes the county more than $200,000 for the joint dispatch center. The city has also owed the county 911 Department $130,000 since June. Krachey said he would not vote for the city to buy Blackhawk Junction Mall until the city pays those and all other bills to the county.

Blackhawk Junction Mall has an assessed value of $3,349,500. The total acreage is 9.131.

The mall was purchased on Oct. 23, 2006, by Blackhawk Junction LLC of Madison. Blackhawk Junction Mall is located at 700 E. Blackhawk Ave., Prairie du Chien.

Blackhawk Junction Mall was foreclosed upon due to delinquent property taxes totalling $488,988. With penalties and interest, the amount owed came to nearly $600,000. The county took ownership of the property in late May.

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