ANDERSON, Ind. — Discussions are taking place to transfer ownership of the Wigwam complex to the Anderson Redevelopment Commission in June as the next step in the effort to save the iconic basketball gymnasium.
Through a prior agreement, Anderson city and Anderson Community Schools officials have set a June 11 deadline for a private group of developers known as Wigwam Sports & Entertainment LLC (WSE) to assume ownership.
Last week, ACS advertised for bids to demolish the structure if the effort to save the Wigwam fails.
Greg Winkler, director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said the advertising for bids for the demolition comes as the city awaits a new appraisal on the facility at West 14th and John streets.
“We’re working on a donation agreement between the Redevelopment Commission and the school system,” Winkler said.
He said the last appraisal of the Wigwam complex was completed by ACS in 2011 and the city hopes to have a new one by June 3. The complex includes classrooms and offices.
An appraisal performed at the request of a mayor-appointed Blue Ribbon Committee of community leaders has determined the building has no value. The property is appraised at $191,000 if the building is demolished. The demolition is estimated at $500,000.
Winkler said WSE is expected to present a proposal to the Redevelopment Commission on June 3 that will include a public hearing. The hope is that the Redevelopment Commission will accept the Wigwam as a donation from ACS and approve the WSE proposal on that date.
“If this process fails, ACS will be ready to move forward with the demolition,” Winkler said.
He said any other potential developers interested in submitting a proposal should contact the city’s Economic Development Department. Proposals will have to show financial viability along with a business and marketing plan for the Wigwam complex.