For a number of years, the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce has been looking for a new place to house its headquarters, but a recent agreement with Associated Bank in La Crosse has made that decision a lot easier.
The La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce has officially purchased a new building at the corner of La Crosse and Seventh Streets.
It used to be an Associated Bank but, now it will be home to the Chamber of Commerce, as well as other nonprofit organizations looking for a place to setup shop.
"When we originally put the building on the market, we had significant interests from multiple parties,” said David Stein, the executive vice president of Associated Bank.
The marketvalue of the building is about $1.8 million, but Associated Bank is knocking off about $500,000 from the purchase price.
"We're excited to be selling at a pretty substantial discount this building to the Chamber of Commerce,” said Stein. "We were able to offer that discount in a way that helps the community grow from an economic perspective."
Leaders at the Chamber of Commerce say it was an easy decision.
“When this opportunity came along, it was too good of a chance to pass up,” said Bruce Friell, 2014 board chair of the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce. "We own the lot north of here, or I should say east of here, and we have been exploring building something for a number of years. But the problem that we ran into is we wanted to create an opportunity for others to join us."
Because the Chamber of Commerce received a discount, it will be able to offer very reasonable rents for nonprofits. One of the biggest selling points of the building is a room in the basement that be can be used by as many as 200 people for training sessions.
“There are cost savings to be realized. Not every group will have to have their own conference room, their own copier or their own receptionist,” said Friell.
Although the bank will not be making as much money as it could, Stein said it's worth it.
"To be able to have a reasonably priced facility that a number of different organizations can utilize helps them be more effective, more financially viable as well and we think that just improves the economic well-being of La Crosse and the surrounding,” said Stein.
The La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce will have about 60 days to check over the building to make there are no major problems before it officially takes the keys. If everything goes as planned, it will move into the new building by early May.