Private offices, retail shops, a bookstore, even condominiums. Those are a few of the uses being considered for the 752 building as the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) prepares to send its recommendations back to Worthington City Council.

Private offices, retail shops, a bookstore, even condominiums.

Those are a few of the uses being considered for the 752 building as the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) prepares to send its recommendations back to Worthington City Council.

The CIC analyzed uses ranging from public to private to residential over the past several months as it carried out council's request to look at possible ways to redevelop the vacant building the city owns on the northwest quadrant of the Village Green.

Known as the 752 building, it has been used as a library and as Worthington schools administrative offices since being built in 1927. It has been vacant for more than six years.

When the city agreed to buy it from the schools for $500,000 several years ago, it did so because city officials feared it might otherwise be converted for something other than a public use.

Now, that still seems likely.

"A public-only use will drain the city budget for now," CIC consultant and Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) member Chris Hermann said during the Dec. 10 CIC meeting.

The city will have to spend money to make improvements to the building.

According to an analysis by the CIC, renovation costs could range from $1.4-million to $1.7-million, which includes the original cost of the building. The cost of renovating the building for development as condominiums would be $677,775, but members said that the building is not likely to be used as residential.

The building could be used as a public space, as a farmers market, historical museum, or for meetings; as a public/private space, for offices such as the chamber of commerce, law firms, or architects, as well as for meeting space; as private low-intensity, that is private offices without public meeting space; as private low- and high-intensity, such as retail shops, a bookstore, a bistro/cafe, a gourmet office, or offices; or as private higher intensity, such as retail shops, bookstore, bistro/cafe, or gourmet market, with no offices.

Few of those uses will work unless the city finds a way to change parking patterns, since there are only approximately 24 spaces around the 752 building.

At the December CIC meeting, Hermann and Kerry Reeds of MSI presented three options for reconfiguring parking. MSI was hired by the CIC to analyze the parking situation.

The three options include some form of combining the parking lot at the 752 building with those at the Huntington Bank, a small business north of the bank, the Old Worthington Library, and Kilbourne Middle School.

Two options would combine the lots at the bank, business, school, and 752 building, while a third would create a municipal parking lot in the center of the buildings.

Costs of rearranging and rebuilding parking lots would range from $125,000 to $500,000, Reeds said.

City officials would have to talk to property owners before any plans could move forward, said city manager Matt Greeson.

Next steps in the process will be to move forward with external renovations of the 752 building, including replacing the roof; and requesting city council to authorize the CIC and city staff to work with the MPC to change the zoning designation of the building.

Currently, it is zoned S-1, a category for very limited public uses.

A new zoning should allow for a broader range of uses while retaining the city's control, according to Greeson.

Council will also be asked to authorize a marketing strategy for the building.