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Chamber building sees flood of interest — sells for $2.1m — after La Crosse city/county tried to buy it

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When the city of La Crosse and La Crosse County announced they wanted to acquire a certain office building for a homelessness project, that suddenly led to other possible buyers taking an interest.

As a result, the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce had many offers to choose from and it has accepted a $2.1 million purchase offer from attorney George Parke for the 7th Street headquarters.

Chamber CEO Neal Zygarlicke announced acceptance of the offer this week, sending the “bridge housing” plan back to the drawing board, in terms of finding a suitable property.

Zygarlicke said the building has been on the market since June, “but as soon as the city and county announced (their plan), a couple other people popped up and said, ‘No, I’m very very serious about this property, too,’ and went to work on putting together offers.”

The Chamber will continue to operate in the building near City Hall as it considers new headquarters.

Zygarlicke said the local government project is worth pursuing, and his organization would like to help.

“A number of Chambers have done this throughout the United States,” he said, “on partnering with the city and the county and other organizations” to help reduce homelessness.

The Chamber parking lot was being pursued for “bridge housing” to give shelter to individuals or families, while they worked on finding permanent housing.

La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds and La Crosse County Board chair Monica Kruse talked to WIZM about the deal earlier this week.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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