Fond du Lac County Treasurer Brenda Schneider, left, and County Board Chairman Mary Farrell of Ripon chat while waiting for developers to visit the open house at 303-305 Watson St.
Fond du Lac County Treasurer Brenda Schneider, left, and County Board Chairman Mary Farrell of Ripon chat while waiting for developers to visit the open house at 303-305 Watson St.

   Ripon is closing in on shedding the final albatrosses still hanging around following the mess left by failed developer Boca Grande Capital LLC.

   On the same day Fond du Lac County held an open house in preparation for auctioning off Boca’s former headquarters, the Ripon Common Council announced plans to send out a request for proposal (RFP) for several other former Boca properties.

   The city hopes to sell the properties once tied to Boca’s signature project, the Ripon Inn & Spa. Those spaces have deteriorated in the years since Boca’s purchase, and are among the last remaining empty spaces in downtown Ripon.

   Discussion of sending out RFPs comes at a time when local developers have managed to renovate, without public dollars, all the properties Boca failed to update after it had borrowed $6.9 million of the $8.6 million it sought from the city.

   A portion of that $8.6 million was supposed to go toward the Ripon Inn & Spa, which was to span the western stretch of Blossom Street along Watson.

   Among the properties included were 230 and 300 Watson Street, also known as the former “Davis Hotel” and “American House,” as well as several residences behind them and retail spaces to the south.

Read the full story in the Sept. 13, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.