The O’Fallon City Council on Monday approved a feasibility study for a city-owned building formerly owned by First Bank at 200 S. Lincoln Ave.
The city council unanimously agreed to hire White & Borgognoni Architects of St. Louis, who will be paid $16,050 for the study.
According to O’Fallon City Administrator Walter Denton, the city is looking at renovating and restoring the building, which is located right across the street from city hall, for office space.
The building, built in the late 1950s, was occupied by First Bank, before the the city took over ownership of the building about 10 years ago when First Bank moved to its current location on 804 West Highway 50. The city, fire and police departments are using some of the old bank vaults in the bank building for records storage currently. The city is also using the building for a meeting room for computer training, occasionally. The city also owns the adjoining parking lots, which are frequently used.
Denton said the city has no interest in razing the two-story bank building at this time.
Like the old city hall building (which is close to being sold), the old bank building needs a lot of work for it to be occupied as an office building, according to Denton.
“The question is how much,” he said.
Denton, however, does not expect the city will make a decision on what it intends to do with the building until after the old city hall building is sold.
But with both the old city hall and bank buildings, Denton said the city needs to get the best value from both properties.
“Now both buildings are not getting their best value,” he said.
Denton said if the city were to convert the bank building into a “standard office” building, it would need to install a new HVAC system, and add an elevator.
“All of those things will cost money,” he said.
In the meantime, the city is actively holding discussions with a prospective buyer on its old city hall building.
Denton expects the sale of that building to be completed shortly.
“The sale is close,” he said.
In fact, Denton thought there was a chance the City Council had a chance to consider the contract proposal during Monday night’s City Council meeting.
But with O’Fallon Community Development Director Ted Shekell being out of work most of last week with a back injury, Denton said he now expects the City Council will review a sale contract in executive session on May 19.
“There aren’t any problems,” he said. “It’s just a matter of dealing with the details.”