Vacant property creates opportunities for many.
Last year, the city of Garden City put the former National Guard armory it owned up for grabs, and received a number of interesting offers from groups and businesses.
After considering various proposals, the city went with an American Legion offer, and in turn ended up with another building as part of that transaction.
This year, interested parties may make their best pitch for that property.
The former American Legion home at 125 W. Pine St. in Garden City has potential — it's in a nice downtown location — but also pitfalls. For example, the building doesn't meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Knowing the application process for the former armory generated several intriguing proposals last year, the city should expect to weigh a number of possible options for the West Pine Street building.
Governmental use would be one, as utilizing existing buildings when possible usually makes more sense than new construction. But considering there's no imminent need for more space for city operations, other possible uses are more likely.
The city also could give the property to a local nonprofit agency or organization.
The building may not be an ideal fit for just any organization that has to live on a limited budget, however. There's considerable space, with about 3,300 square feet on each of two floors. On top of the ADA requirements, utilities would be an issue for future tenants to address.
One attractive option would be in selling the building to a private entity as a way to put the property on the tax rolls.
Expect a range of ideas to materialize, from a multicultural center — one already proposed — to even the notion of housing in a community with a shortage of available living space.
Anyone interested in the facility should submit a solid, comprehensive business plan to the city on how they would use and maintain the property. The best plans would be self-sufficient, without any additional taxpayer funding.
It's a great opportunity, but for the right fit. Ideally, the city ends up with realistic choices in ways to keep the building viable and useful for many years to come.