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Council authorizes legal action to repair Thompson Hotel; potential buyer emerges

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council on Monday morning authorized court proceedings forcing repairs to the Thompson Hotel Apartments in an expensive cleanup effort that will likely force tenants to relocate temporarily.

WORTHINGTON - The Worthington City Council on Monday morning authorized court proceedings forcing repairs to the Thompson Hotel Apartments in an expensive cleanup effort that will likely force tenants to relocate temporarily.

The city will ask a judge in Nobles County District Court to grant a default judgment and thus allow it to make repairs to the building, as the Thompson’s property owners did not begin to make necessary repairs by the June 1 deadline.

City officials say the cost to repair the building’s leaky roof and issues associated with it - such as pests and mold - could cost more than a quarter of a million dollars. The roof will be the first order of business, and tenants on at least the top floor will need to be vacated during the process, said Steve Robinson, city administrator.

Robinson said commercial businesses located below the apartments will likely avoid displacement, as they have been well-maintained and are generally in good condition.

After making repairs, the city would assess the repair costs - including the cost of relocating tenants - back to the owners with 8 percent interest, said Mark Shepherd, city attorney.
There is a new wrinkle in the process, however, as a potential buyer for the Thompson has emerged. Her name is Lindsey Schenck, a Round Lake native and Worthington resident. Schenck previously rehabilitated a house located on the corner of Grand Avenue and Okabena Street and turned it into a triplex.

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Schenck told council members she is “very close” to a deal to purchase the property, and would make her own repairs to the building - without the need for the city to do so.
“My first priority would be to address the city resolution: the roof, pests, mold, the repairs and do everything in my power to rehabilitate the property,” Schenck said.

“Going forward I hope to work closely with the city and social services. There are a lot of difficulties in that building that need to be addressed to make the living conditions better for the community.”

Shepherd said court documents would be filed within a week, but the council could decide to modify the timeline of court proceedings if Schenck or another entity purchased the apartment complex, and had the money to make necessary repairs.

 

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