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Old DOT building reduced to rubble

Posted: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Jill Fier/Register

Workers from Prussman Contracting get a good start on tearing down the former local Department of Transportation headquarters on the northeast side of the Interstate 29-U.S. Highway 14 interchange on Tuesday afternoon.

DOT engineer John Rittershaus says the land where the vacant DOT office and shop once stood is still state owned. The demolition team was hired to clean up the property to make it more attractive to prospective buyers. Work to clear away the building continued at the site today, but no underground infrastructure is being removed at this time.

Starting in 2006, the City of Brookings considered purchasing the 26-acre DOT parcel for future commercial and retail development. The city even found a new 34th Avenue site for the local DOT headquarters, paid to bring infrastructure up to the new property, and paid to use and maintain the former DOT building for one year while it considered the purchase.

But the city ultimately rejected the $4 million option in 2008, saying the price tag and the economic climate made the deal not in the city’s best interest at the time. The city’s final offer to buy the property at its appraised price was turned down by the state in 2010, City Manager Jeff Weldon said.

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