About 20 people turned out for the auction of the previously county-owned building on South Cross Friday. Auctioneer Bob Fiscus confirmed the structure brought in $8,500.
This was less than hoped for, but as Fiscus pointed out, the sale achieved the county's primary goal: it is "no longer in the business of handling real estate rental property."
"I am disappointed in the price," Crawford County Board Chairman David Fulling said, explaining he had hoped the auction would generate funds for work needed on the courthouse.
"At least we don't have the strain of maintaining it any more," he added. "We should never have been in the rental business. The county was losing money on it every month."
Fulling also pointed out selling the building puts it back on the property tax rolls.
"That's another positive," he said.
The local buyer's name has not yet been disclosed, but Fulling said he has hear good things about him.
"People have told me whatever happens, they'll turn it into something positive for the community," he explained.
Sheriff William Rutan added the new owner apparently purchased the Commercium as an investment and intends to continue using it as rental property.
The county first acquired the office building more than 25 years ago. Prior to that, it had housed a variety of businesses over the decades.
Marathon and other oil companies had offices there. So did a local bank. Insurance agents, construction firms, real estate agents, Head Start, the Illinois Department of Public Aid and even a beauty college could be found there.
In more recent years, it was home to the local Illinois Cooperative Extension Service, Regional Office of Education 12, the Crawford County Development Association and United Life Care Ambulance. It also housed equipment of the Crawford County Emergency Management Agency.
United Life Care and CCDA are among the remaining tenants. It also collects rent on the cell phone tower behind the building.
Closing is still about a month away. First, State's Attorney Matthew Hartrich will have to complete paperwork concerning the sale.