It’s hard to give away a building when the new owner has to move it.

Representatives from Alatus, the developer planning to build a 40-story condominium tower across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis, spoke in front of city planners Monday after it wasn’t able to give away the 8,500-square-foot building now on the site.

The building, at 200 Central Av. SE., was a Tudor-style mansion dating back to 1929. It later became a Washburn-McReavy funeral home, though it has been unused for several years and for sale for two years.

When Alatus bought the property with plans for the tower, the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission asked it to spend three months trying to find someone to repurpose the building. Alatus put up signs that said “Free Building,” but prospective takers soon learned that movers had estimated the cost of relocating the building would exceed $1.5 million.

“We had one serious discussion about having it purchased,” said Chris Osmundson, senior development associate for Alatus. “The cost is one thing, and the logistical thing is another.”

The planning commission signed off on the site plans after a full room of neighbors spoke during the public hearing Monday, many opposed to the building’s height and others who supported the development.

If the City Council gives final approval for the Alatus plan, the building will be demolished later this fall.