Purchase could create bus parking for Armory

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Saturday, June 6, 2009
— The city would buy a vacant house on West Court Street and tear it down—possibly to provide bus parking for The Armory—if the council approves the purchase.

The council will consider the purchase at its 7 p.m. meeting Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St.

The city would pay $45,000 for the two-unit house at 614 W. Court St. The assessed value is $65,500.

In a memo to council members, Doug Venable, director of economic development, said the building is blighted. The home’s interior was damaged when water pipes froze several years ago and water leaked from the second to the first floors.

“Although the owner has tried to repair the damage, the property has remained vacant, and the structure continues to deteriorate,” Venable said.

The owner bought the property in 2004 for $92,000. The house has been for sale since 2007, and the latest asking price was $69,000.

The city would tear down the building and a garage at a cost of about $20,000. The resulting, 3,745 square-foot lot could be used to add seven parking stalls to the adjacent, city-owned High Street parking lot.

“This property may also be used to provide parking for buses that bring tour groups to The Armory dinner theater,” Venable said.

Funding for the project would come from TIF No. 9, which is projected to break even by 2012.

On a recent bus tour of the city with council members, staff parked in front of The Armory and described the area as an entertainment district.

Parking is a concern in the area, said Jay Winzenz, director of administrative services.

The city’s strategy has been to buy properties when they become available and hold them until a redevelopment use is found, Winzenz said.

“That block has a opportunity for potential redevelopment, and the piece the city will own was available at a really good price.”

Last updated: 10:46 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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