Vacant county garage

McLennan County leaders are working to sell the vacant county garage at 305 S. 20th St., seen here in a screenshot taken from Google Street View.

Google image

In an effort to reduce the footprint of its facilities, McLennan County leaders agreed this week to move forward with selling two properties, including one adorned the past few months with Pokémon graffiti.

Commissioners directed Purchasing Director Ken Bass to contact several brokers in hopes of shedding an old county garage and the vacant former justice of peace office building in Mart.

Bass said he will discuss fee structures with each broker before bringing a recommendation to commissioners. The county has attempted to bid out properties before but didn’t attract enough interest, Bass said. A broker would be able to stay on top of the listings and get more exposure than the county could, he said.

The old county garage at 305 S. 20th St. sits on 4.402 acres, and a small shed also sits on the back of the property, Bass said.

The garage, which someone vandalized with Pokémon graffiti, has been vacant for a while, County Judge Scott Felton said.

“Our hope is that, if we don’t have a good use for it, to put it back on the tax rolls,” Felton said. “It’s a pretty good size tract.”

Felton said he reached out to Mart leaders to see if the former justice of the peace building would be of any use to the city, but they didn’t express much interest.

The 2,500-square-foot property at 410 Texas Ave. sits on 3,125 square feet of land, Bass said.

The move comes as county leaders review the best use for all county properties.

In March, commissioners partnered with The Wallace Group for a study on the best use of vacant building space, specifically focusing on the courthouse annex, the downtown jail and the maintenance and purchasing building. The company is expected to present options to commissioners in May.

Commissioners also are considering selling the 50,000-square-foot Grand Karem Shrine building and relocating the county’s downtown garage at Seventh Street and Washington Avenue.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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