College wants to sell mansion worth negative $4.2 million

College wants to sell mansion worth negative $4.2 million
McGhiever via Wikimedia Commons
H. Alden Smith House

A Minnesota college is hoping to sell a mansion that would cost millions more to renovate than it’s worth. The building’s net value?

Negative $4.7 million.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College will next month consider deeming the H. Alden Smith House in Minneapolis as surplus real estate, the Pioneer Press reported.

This comes after a 2015 study by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System found the building would cost $6.7 million to rehabilitate, making the appraised net value plunge into the negative millions.

The mansion was built in 1887 as a home for Smith, a wealthy businessman. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The building’s storied past has Hollywood ties. Before being used by the college for office space, the mansion was a mortuary, restaurant, and a set for “Drop Dead Fred,” a 1991 film starring Carrie Fisher.

The college’s foundation bought the property in 1993 for $350,000 and raised money for renovations, the St. Paul newspaper reported. Three years later, the foundation gave the mansion to the college.

The college is looking to pay the city of Minneapolis $20,000 to market and sell the mansion and two adjoining properties — a garden and a theater, according to the Pioneer Press. If the city can’t find a buyer, the college system says it will sell the properties for $1 and raze the theater.