County to sell Whittier’s Ramar Building

Hennepin County staff will recommend selling the Ramar Building, 111 Franklin Ave. E., said Richard P. Johnson, deputy county administrator. The County Board would likely act on the recommendation in late September, he said.

The building needs significant repairs — a new roof, new windows and asbestos abatement, Johnson said. The county estimates it would cost $10 million to $11 million to bring the building up to code for use by county staff. It has ruled out renovating the building and then leasing it out.

The county bought the building in 1982, a county memo said. The Economic Assistance Department used it until its recent consolidation in the Century Plaza Building, 330 S. 12th St. The 55,000-square-foot Ramar Building now is mostly vacant, used by 60 economic assistance call center employees.

The county would need to spend $500,000-$600,000 on asbestos abatement prior to sale, Johnson said.

"We have had a couple of developers call, nothing we know that is serious at this point," he said.

The property is zoned OR-2, high-density office residence district. The classification is designed for high-density dwellings, large office uses and small-scale retail sales and service uses.