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VOL. 116 | NO. 202 | Thursday, October 17, 2002

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Center City reviews proposals for Main St

CCDC reviews S. Main Street block plans

By SUE PEASE

The Daily News

The Center City Development Corp. reviewed three proposals Wednesday to renovate vacant and run-down Main Street properties in an area dubbed the Main Street Demonstration Block by the Center City Commission.

Although a subcommittee reviewed the proposals Tuesday, it had no final recommendation to give the board, saying it had more requests for each developer.

The CCC will relay the requests and set Oct. 25 as the proposal deadline, CCDC board chairman David McKee said.

This is one year and a month after we designated this as a demonstration block, said CCC president Jeff Sanford, adding the organization is pleased at the response and progress on the neglected area between Union Avenue and Peabody Place.

In May, the CCDC took options on various properties in the block to attract developers to purchase and develop the properties via requests for proposals.

The first request came from Bob Williams Jr. to redevelop the historic Vivian buildings, 85-89 S. Main, often referred to as the Perez buildings because of former tenant Perez Cigar Shop.

Because a structural engineer deemed the building unsafe, Williams proposed to demolish and rebuild on the lot. Demolition would cost $118,000.

The CCDC said Williams proposed to pay for demolition if the group gave him the building. However, the CCDC has an option on the building for $225,000 and is asking the developer to pay the difference between the demolition and option price.

Board members said they were afraid if they gave the property to Williams, it would set a precedent for tearing down properties on the block.

However, Williams said he felt paying the difference, $107,000, was unreasonable, because he offered to fund the demolition.

He pointed to the property across the street, the Family Dollar building, and said the CCDC is asking for $18 to $20 per square foot for a structurally sound building.

They come to me and want me to pay $18 a square foot for a building that is not structurally sound, which I then have to demolish and build another one, Williams said.

The numbers dont work to pay that much of a premium and wind up with a vacant lot.

Shelby County appraised the property for $125,900 in 2001.

Williams said he couldnt see paying more than he first offered.

If the plan went through, Williams would rebuild and use the first floor of the property for commercial space and upper floors for residential co-ops, similar to a property he is developing adjacent to the building.

The CCDC received two proposals for redevelopment of the former Family Dollar building at 94 S. Main.

One came from Beale Street management company Performa Entertainment Real Estate Inc., which is headed by CCC board member John Elkington.

Sanford said Elkington recused himself from the Main Street subcommittee, which he chairs, and was not a part of writing the RFP.

Performa proposes to redevelop the propertys first floor for potential tenant MacArthurs Chop and Crab House; use the second floor for office space for Isaac Hayes; and the third floor for Performa offices.

The company offered $500,000 for the property. The CCDC has a $456,000 option on the building.

The second proposal on the building came from a development partnership comprised of Ramesh and Manju Gupta, who propose to turn the building into apartments or condominiums.

Their offer was $200,000.

McKee said the subcommittee would ask the Gupta group to sharpen their pencils, or renegotiate, and would ask Performa to provide more detail in its proposal.

We have two very different proposals on the table, he said.

 

 

 

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 20 39 190
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0