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City of Valparaiso planning to move City Hall to the old Synovus building

Throughout the fourth quarter of 2021, the Valparaiso City Commission discussed plans to move the current city hall (465 Valparaiso Parkway) to the old Synovus building on John Sims Parkway. […]

Old Synovus building on John Sims Parkway in Valparaiso, Florida

Throughout the fourth quarter of 2021, the Valparaiso City Commission discussed plans to move the current city hall (465 Valparaiso Parkway) to the old Synovus building on John Sims Parkway.

  • This includes moving the Library and Police Department.

In June 2021, H&S LLC purchased the Synovus building for $1,000,000. According to the city, Huff Management offered to lease the building to the city for $10,000 per month for 30 years ($3,600,000).

  • As part of the lease agreement, the city will be able to exercise a one-time purchase option after 10 years for $1.8 million dollars.
  • However, if the city decides to not purchase the property, the lease will continue for the remaining 20 years.
  • The lease does not include any remodel costs that may be needed.
Old Synovus building on John Sims Parkway in Valparaiso, Florida

Concerns were brought up during the various meetings on whether it was a “necessity” or a “want” for the city. Additionally, cost considerations for maintenance, upkeep, and renovations were discussed but no definitely numbers were presented.

Commissioner Christine Wasdin said that “every vacant lot in town is getting a house on it” and that the city will be “managing more things on a more esoteric scale.”

“It is a big monument to our town when you drive in and see that beautiful building,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have the city represented by a nice building instead of these World War II buildings that everyone remembers as a skating rink and bowling alley?”

Current City Hall in Val-p

The Commission voted 5-0 to move forward with the lease on November 17, 2021. The plan will be to move city hall, library, and police department to the new location. Chief Joe Hart says that moving the police department may be harder than the Mayor thinks.

As for the library, the tentative plan is to put it on the 2nd floor of the building. The city will explore potential ADA grants to offset costs for an elevator installation, and find suitable contractors for the work.

Currently, there is no timeline on when the city of Valparaiso will get started on the remodel with no definitive cost estimates.

  • As of today, the city has paid $30,000 in lease fees.

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