Molly Beck of the Wisconsin State Journal turned up the news last week that the Wisconsin Education Association Council placed its headquarters building up for sale. This led to a lot of schadenfreude in Wisconsin and elsewhere.
It makes sense that the union might want to unload some real estate after it dropped to 36,000 active members and laid off a big chunk of its staff. But you have to wonder if WEAC is really serious about selling.
For one thing, the decision to sell was apparently made sometime last October, and the property was listed in February. The fact that it took so long for anyone to even notice suggests a general lack of interest from potential buyers.
Second, when Beck contacted WEAC for her story, union spokesperson Christina Brey told her, “While we are exploring options around the building, there are no immediate plans for a sale.” I’m not even sure what that means, unless it’s PR-talk for “No one’s made an offer.”
Third is the price. My knowledge of real estate pricing is extremely limited, but WEAC’s $6.9 million asking price seems well beyond the comps for office space in the area. At $134.18 per square foot, it exceeds average asking prices by almost 50 percent.
Seems strange. Is there any motivation to place a building on the market but deliberately not want to sell it? In any event, in case you’re looking for some Madison real estate, here’s a link to the colorful brochure.