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Library approves selling Swan building for $53K

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – This picture was taken today of the former Swan Library at 4 North Main St.

ALBION – The board of trustees at Hoag Library tonight approved a $53,000 sale price for the former Swan Library. The closing date has been set for March 15.

The library will have to work hard to empty the building in the next month before Chad Fabry of Holley takes ownership of the building, a former mansion at 4 North Main St. The 6,000-square-foot building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fabry would like to make the building available for professional offices. He intends to make the main meeting room in the library available as a community meeting space.

“He is looking for the highest and best use of the building,” said Kevin Doherty, president of the library board of trustees.

Library leaders say they are disappointed the building didn’t command more on the open market. It was listed by Peter Snell Realtors for $99,900.

“We wanted it to be more,” said Dele Theodorakos, a library trustee who works in real estate.

The building from 1851 only has a few parking spaces. It doesn’t have a kitchen and has asbestos in the basement. The building is being sold “as is” and for cash.

Fabry likes that the building is intact and hasn’t been altered too much since it was built.

The money from the sale will be used to pay down the mortgage on the new Hoag Library, which opened in July 2012. Selling the Swan site will relieve the library of about $25,000 to $28,000 in annual expense for utilities, insurance, elevator maintenance and other costs.

The library has an ambitious time frame to clear out items from the site. Most of the historical artifacts including those from the Civil War Room will be moved to the new building to be displayed in the foyer and also in the local history room.

The library will likely need to rent storage units for many of the items at the Swan site, and many items will likely be discarded.

Library employees and volunteers will set about the task of determining what goes to the Hoag, what goes to storage and what will be thrown away. A professional mover may be hired after the items are catalogued, Doherty said.