SEBRING - It appears that Sebring city officials are back to square one in their efforts to sell Harder Hall.
The City Council is expected tonight to withdraw the offer to sell the historical building to NRP1A No. 1 Corp. of Delray Beach, which has submitted the only open bid for the property.
Back in February, the city gave NRP1A 90 days to inspect the property without risking losing any part of a $100,000 deposit. But since then, NRP1A has failed to put up a deposit or inspect the property.
"We're well past 90 days," said Bob Hoffman, assistant city administrator.
Hoffman said communications with NRP1A have been spotty. At one point the city was told a principal in NRP1A needed medical care, resulting in a delay, he said.
Last month, the city notified NRP1A that the offer to sell the property would be withdrawn if NRP1A did not contact the city about its plans.
Hoffman said the city received no update from NRP1A.
Late last year, it seemed that hopes were higher for the sale of the building. MVP Properties of Davie bid $3.4 million and that was followed by a $3.6 million bid from NRP1A.
When the city decided then to seek sealed bids, NRP1A increased its bid to $4.2 million, but MVP withdrew from the process.
Hoffman said the city is back looking for buyers but isn't necessarily frustrating, as the situation has changed back and forth for years. He said there's still interest in the property, noting that he received three calls last week alone.
The problem for buyers is that it "is a difficult property to make it work financially," he said.
"Well, of course, it's frustrating," Councilman John Griffin said. But with the economy improving, "maybe things will change," Griffin added.
Harder Hall was built in 1927 and named after developers Lewis F. Harder and Vincent Hall, both of West Palm Beach, according t o Wikipedia. It opened as a hotel and golf resort. It remained open into the 1980s; the owners went bankrupt, according to Wikipedia.