Snell Realtors hired to list Swan Library

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 December 2014 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – Snell Realtors will list the former Swan Library at the corner of Main and State streets. For 112 years, the site was home to Swan Library. It was vacated in June 2012 when the library moved to the new Hoag Library.

ALBION – The former Swan Library is officially on the market. The Library Board of Trustees voted on Wednesday to hire David Snell from Snell Realtors in Albion to list the site, which was originally built as a mansion in 1851.

It became Albion’s public library in 1900 and stayed that way until June 2012. It was vacated when the library moved to a next site a couple blocks south on Main Street.

The library has received an offer for the Swan site. Board President Kevin Doherty said he can’t disclose the offer or who it is from.

A committee of trustees – Dele Theodorakos, Linda Smith and John Andrews – were assigned to handle the Swan sale. That includes a counter offer to the potential buyer.

The library retained David Snell to develop “comparables” for the building’s value, Doherty said. Other prospective buyers may also step forward once the site is listed.

Theodorakos is a real estate agent. She said the building has asbestos in the basement pipes. It also still has lots of “stuff,” some of value and others that could likely be trashed, she said.

The library used a matching grant last year to remove asbestos from the tiles in the building, but that project didn’t include the lower floor where it will cost $20,000 to $25,000 to remove asbestos. Rather than tackle that project, the library has opted to sell the building “as is.”

The site was eyed as a possible county museum, but Theodorakos said that effort failed to move forward. John Sawyer was leading the push, but he died from leukemia in October 2013.

“There was hope in the possibility but as time went on the probability was dim,” Theodorakos said about developing the site as a museum.

The Swan Library Association owns the building and has been spending $25,000 to $28,000 annually for maintenance, insurance and other costs for the former library, Doherty said.

The site has about 6,000 square feet. The new library has more than 14,000 square feet. The Swan site became too cramped for a modern library and patrons complained there were only a few parking spaces. It is air-conditioned and has an elevator.