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Mercy Manor owner misses city's deadline

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
November 19, 2010
— Brad Goodrich's plans to build an assisted-living facility in the former Mercy Manor appear to be finished.

Goodrich on Wednesday missed a six-month deadline imposed by the Janesville Plan Commission. The commission gave him that time to come up with the finances to turn the former nursing home at 119 S. Parker Drive into an assisted-living facility.


When Gale Price of the city's community development department was asked what was going on with the former nursing home, he said:


"Nothing. That's the problem, nothing.


"It's done. Dead.


"Basically, if he wants to pursue the project, it's going to be started from square one."


In May, Price told commission members: "If Mr. Goodrich was unable to secure financing for a second time, I as a planner would have to question whether or not this is a correct or viable project for the site."


The Gazette was unable to reach Goodrich for a comment Thursday afternoon.


Goodrich has said he's been working since 2007 to get financing for a 42-unit assisted living facility in the former nursing home. He also owns the nearby Lovejoy manor, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lovejoy manor has gone into foreclosure.


Meanwhile, lawsuits have piled up against Goodrich with claims totaling well over $1 million.


Some plaintiffs accuse Goodrich of financial fraud. At least one involves workers who claim they didn't get paid. Two civil cases are scheduled for trial, one in December.


A judgment for AnchorBank that was levied against defendants that include Goodrich, his wife, Trudy, and some of his companies totals $661,547.


Goodrich used the Lovejoy manor as collateral in some of his dealings, according to court papers.


What's next?


Goodrich will be required to maintain the nursing home and the grounds and keep the building secure.


If he doesn't, the city can do the repairs and charge Goodrich. If the building deteriorates, the city could be forced to tear it down, Price said.


That could be awhile, though, because the structure is well built, he said.


But the Lovejoy manor has issues right now. Its addition, Grace Hall, has cracks in its foundation and a hole in the roof, Price said. The interior floors have significant damage from rainwater.


He does not know the condition of the connected Lovejoy manor.


"I don't ever want to think that the city would be in a position of having to remove that building," Price said. "That thing would have to be ready to cave in. It's just too important from an architectural standpoint."


Price isn't even sure the city can tear down a building that is regulated by federal rules.


The city will issue orders for Goodrich to repair the Lovejoy manor.


"The problem, of course, is that if he doesn't have financing for the nursing home project, he doesn't have the resources to repair Grace Hall," Price said.


Neighbors have complained that Goodrich has ruined the building with his historically inappropriate renovations.


Goodrich has not paid 2008 and 2009 taxes on the Lovejoy manor.



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