Janesville59.8°

Nursing home project stalls

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
April 27, 2009
— The owner of the former Mercy Manor has until the end of this month to kick-start an assisted-living facility project that appears to be at a standstill.

If Brad Goodrich doesn’t have building plans to the city by then, the city could issue a raze or repair order and then demolish the building, Gale Price of the community development department said.


“That’s really serious stuff,” Price said. “We want to see a successful project here, but at this point, we’re very concerned about (Goodrich’s) ability to pull this project off.”


The plan commission in June 2007 granted Goodrich a conditional-use permit to build an assisted-living facility in the former Mercy Manor at 119 S. Parker Drive.


The project was to take place within the former Mercy Manor and the hall part of the former YWCA.


Goodrich owns most of the property on the block, including the adjacent historic Lovejoy Manor.


Goodrich has done some demolition at Mercy Manor, and the building is basically gutted, Price said.


Price said he understands that Goodrich has yet to get financing for the project, and the architect has put a lien on the property.


Price said he has heard nothing from Goodrich since he sent a letter March 30.


In the letter, Price wrote that approval for the project can be revoked if construction activities cease.


“The plans have been repossessed by your architect, and you need to address that matter before the plans can be resubmitted and finally approved,” Price wrote to Goodrich.


Meanwhile, the site remains in disrepair, and many neighbors describe it as looking like a “war zone,” Price said.


“I feel their pain,” Price said in an interview. “This has just drug on and on, and it’s very frustrating. We want to see a project. I know they want to see a project. But can (Goodrich) pull it off?”


The city gave Goodrich 30 days to:


-- Get financing for the project.


-- Resolve the lien with the architect.


-- Submit building plans for the final review and approval.


-- Get a building permit.


-- Continue construction.


If that is not done by Thursday, Price said the city could require Goodrich to resubmit the project to the plan commission for another conditional-use permit.


“If that is done, I would anticipate significant debate regarding the project as it relates to your track record and your relationship with the neighborhood,” Price said. “I unfortunately would not anticipate the support that you had previously with the plan commission.”


“In summary, the city has been very patient with this project, and I would have to describe the neighbors as being even more patient than staff,” Price said.


“It is imperative that you proceed on this project in the next 30 days, or otherwise the city will have to assume the project is dead and the buildings will need (to be) removed.”


Goodrich could not be reached despite numerous attempts.



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