College considering purchase of former cancer center.

December 8, 2017

College considering purchase of former cancer center.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief. 

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — West Shore Community College’s Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting Monday, Dec. 11 to take action on the purchase of the formerWest Michigan Regional Cancer and Blood Center, located at 6050 N. US 31 in Sherman Township. A motion to purchase the building was tabled during the board’s Nov. 20, 2017 meeting. The purchase price of the building is $985,000, however an individual has pledged to donate $1 million to the college’s foundation if the transaction proceeds.

“The discussion with the perspective donor entails utilizing the majority of the donation for operation and programming expenses at the facility,” WSCC President Scott Ward wrote in a pre-meeting memorandum to the board. “I caution the board that this is a verbal non-binding pledge and the approval of this transaction should not be predicted on this possible donation.”

The building is currently owned by Riemer Real Estate Investments, LLC, which is owned by Dr. Andrew Riemer of Ludington. The college would utilize it for public safety training courses. According to a Nov. 20, 2017 memo from Ward to the board, studies have shown that “there is a considerable interest and need for public safety training in a region that far exceeds the college’s district.

“The building can be modified to fit many of the training needs of the numerous constituent groups that have been involved in forums and discussions. The response to the concept of this project from the public, including elected officials at the state level, has been greater than anticipated.”

Ward said the building would also allow the college to utilize more space in its Recreation Center, which currently houses the public safety program on its top level.

“The most advantageous aspects of the facility, in my opinion, is that it hastens the speed at which the college can provide expanded public safety programming,” Ward said. “The purchase of a quality building that needs interior renovations with a total cost that is a fraction of the cost of a comparable new building is desirable from a cost and time perspective. As the college continues on the Tech Center expansion and renovation project, the water system connection, a full-campus generator system and explores dormitories, I envision low prospects that a project of this scope would move forward quickly.

“The Michigan Constitution requires that property be assessed uniformly at a rate not to exceed 50 percent of true cash value. As part of the property assessment process, the State Tax Commission applies an adjustment factor to the county assessments to bring the total valuation across counties as close to the 50% level as possible. This process produces the property’s state equalized value, or SEV. The SEV on the property is currently $552,600, which indicates the locally assessed true cash value of the property is over $1.1M. Since the last meeting, the College has received a copy of an appraisal from the owner of the property, which was completed on May 16, 2017. That appraisal provided an opinioned value of $750,800.

“I recommend that the College purchase the property from Riemer Real Estate Investments, L.L.C. for the last listed price of $985,000 in addition to associated closing costs and contingent upon a satisfactory environmental site assessment.”

The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. in the college’s board room, located in conference and administrative building.