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Lamar Seeking Grant for Main Street Building Purchase

 

Former Main Cafe

 

 

The Lamar Redevelopment Authority approved the application for an $18,000 DoLA Mini-Grant to purchase the building known years ago as the Main Café at 114 South Main Street in Lamar. The property has been in disrepair although inside demolition work began in 2014 after the property had been purchased in an effort to relocate a business.  Because of asbestos content and the overall cost of refurbishing the location, the effort came to an end.  Angie Cue, Community Development Manager laid out the options for the Authority members this past Monday, March 11th.

Craig Brooks, Lamar’s Chief Building Official, explained some abatement had taken place, but there is an issue with glazing in the front windows and some rear floor tiles remain that have an asbestos content, although they can be removed with only simple safety precautions as the asbestos isn’t friable. He said the tiles can be disposed of in the city landfill.  Cue told the Board that the building is on the list for a Brownsfield assessment through a grant issued recently to the city for $300,000.

In light of the current status, a DoLA architect has found that the entire building can be fixed with time and funding. The first floor is open, but with water damage and the second floor, which has some historical aspects, is made up of small rooms that were converted into apartments years ago using a shared bathroom and kitchen facility.  Those apartments could be made into office space or some form of studio apartments, a direction the city is more likely to follow based on a revenue stream and a means of injecting residences into the downtown Lamar area.

The building was purchased for $20,000 and there was $9,000 worth of demolition work done when the project was halted. The DoLA REDI Mini-Grant will help fund the purchase of the building with an outcome plan for the space.  After that, steps would be taken for securing historic grant funding for the reconstruction of the front, roof and back of the structure.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, suggested that before any money changes hands, the city needs to develop a working plan for the outcome of the building, “We need to look at what this is going to cost us, if the city is going to maintain the property, or if it would be put on the market once we’ve invested funding for its upgrade.”

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedUtilities

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