An update on this news item:
Feb. 10, 2009, Tomahawk Leader
City turns down Universal Industries’ proposal to purchase Oneida Drive facility
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader City Editorjbuelow@tomahawkleader.com
Citing the offer isn’t half of what the former Harley-Davidson facility and grounds were appraised at, the Tomahawk Finance Committee last week rejected a purchase bid from Universal Industries.
Universal Industries, which handles highly specialized welding contracts, is seeking to buy from the city the 15,000-square-foot Oneida Drive building and 22 acres it is located on off North Fourth Street. Based on its assessment of similar buildings in other regional communities, the company had made a $250,000 offer.
A spokesperson for the company has said the business is growing and to accommodate its clients’ requests, an additional 15,000 square feet needs to be added to the facility. Cost to construct the addition has been estimated at around $700,000 to $850,000. An additional 20 to 25 new positions would also be added to the company’s current staff of just under 30 support and highly specialized welder and fabricators.
An independent appraisal conducted by the city last month put the cost of the building and grounds at $570,000. The committee rejected the proposal based on the $320,000 difference.
Committee chair Jeff West said Universal Industries could make another offer, but noted the company had signed a rent-to-purchase agreement with the city in 2005 at a cost of $651,900.
The contract is set to come due with Universal Industries taking over sole ownership of the building and grounds in 2010.
West noted other businesses have approached the city about purchasing the building. The Tomahawk Volunteer Fire Department has also expressed interest in moving into the building.
If an agreement can be reached between the city and Universal Industries, the company has noted it would begin expansion in 2009. The city came into possession of the facility and grounds after Harley-Davidson noted it had plans to expand to its current Kaphaem Road facility.