Mercy Manor gets new owner
JANESVILLE The developer who bought the former Mercy Manor in downtown Janesville said he is thinking of turning the building into condominiums.
Travis O'Connell of Legendary Construction bought the concrete and brick structure for $25,000 at a tax lien auction earlier this fall.
The building at 119 S. Parker Drive is 27,000 square feet and is assessed at $367,000.
Mercy Health System operated Mercy Manor there as a long-term care facility for years. It was built in 1975 and has an elevator. The company closed the facility in 2001.
In 2003, Mercy Health System offered to donate the building to the Forward Foundation, which announced plans to develop the structure into nine condominiums. The foundation is the nonprofit economic development arm of Forward Janesville. At the time, plans called for razing the connected, two-story building at 201 E. Van Buren.
The plans never came to fruition.
Bradley Goodrich, a Janesville minister and businessman, bought the building in 2007, intending to open an assisted-care facility. He also bought the nearby historical Lovejoy manor, out of which he said he ran a religious operation called the Ekklasia Foundation.
The bank foreclosed on the Lovejoy property in 2009, and that building is for sale.
Goodrich never received the $5 million in financing he said he applied for to open the nursing home. During that time, neighbors complained about his upkeep of the property.
Later, Goodrich went bankrupt.
O'Connell bought the Mercy Manor property at auction earlier this fall.
The bidding started and ended at $25,000, he said.
O'Connell said he went to the auction hoping to buy two duplexes, but they sold for more than what he was willing to pay.
"Then, I got something twice as big," he said with a laugh.
O'Connell said he thought he was bidding only on the two-story building facing 201 E. Van Buren. Later, he found out he had also bought the parking lot up the hill and the four-story building at South Parker Drive.
O'Connell said he was a bit apprehensive at first because he wasn't exactly sure what he had gotten himself into.
After he walked through the property, he thought to himself: "OK, this is cool. I'm happy with it," he said.
"It's built like a tank. I'll hopefully condo it out, turn it into something of value again," he said.
That won't happen for at least a year. O'Connell is renovating the building at 400 W. Milwaukee St., formerly Custom Arrow Archery Lanes.