Montrose, CO — With a goal to better accommodate community needs and increase government accessibility and efficiency, the City of Montrose has decided to purchase the former Wells Fargo Bank building located at 400 East Main Street and move City Hall operations from the current location at 433 South First Street.
The city is pursuing the purchase of the 32,000 square-foot Main Street building for $1.5 million. The purchase also includes a parking lot located on South Second Street, which will provide additional downtown public parking near the new Public Safety Complex and Colorado Mesa University campus. The primary purpose of the purchase is to move city administrative operations to Main Street for the public to have better access to customer service representatives in divisions such as Planning, Building, Finance, Utility Billing, City Clerk, and City Manager. The building’s office areas are split among three levels and may also house offices for Human Resources, GIS, Facilities, and Community Engagement, along with several meeting rooms for collaboration with various community groups and citizens.
The building was completed in 1948 with major renovations and additions in 1962 and 1984. The building has sat vacant since Wells Fargo closed their branch at this location in 2021. The city has received many suggestions from community members to find a way to reactivate this large space on Main Street, including a facade renovation on the building to better reflect the character of the neighborhood. The city is looking to continue public access to the Wells Fargo ATM at this location in an effort to provide convenient cash access for downtown shoppers and visitors.
According to Public Works Manager Jim Scheid, the former Wells Fargo building will need some minor asbestos abatement and roof repairs along with other improvements related to security, ADA accessibility, and public space alterations prior to occupying the space with city staff. It is estimated that city operations will move to the Main Street location at the beginning of 2023. City Council is considering options but has made no decisions, regarding the future use of the historic City Hall building on South First Street.
“The current City Hall is a very nice facility that has served the citizens of Montrose for many years, but it is very old, inefficient, and in need of major repairs,” said City Manager Bill Bell. “The city’s Facilities Master Plan has called for major necessary building renovations at City Hall, which were to take place over the next couple of years and would have required displacement of all employee workspaces for at least 18-24 months. Acquiring the Main Street building provides quality space for those employees and offers a bit more time to plan for and address things like HVAC and roof replacement, structural integrity, security, and efficiency of operations at the current City Hall. We want to make sure the public knows that there is no plan to demolish the current historic City Hall building and we are open to discussing other use options such as housing, CMU campus partnerships, and mixed-use developments as we move forward. The historic City Hall building is an important landmark in downtown Montrose and we are committed to ensuring the building continues to be used as part of our vibrant downtown.”