Urban Redevelopment Authority Discusses Antique Alley Request


New Business on South Main Street and East Beech

New Business on South Main Street and East Beech


New procedures for funding requests from the Lamar Urban Redevelopment Authority were put into play prior to the City Council Meeting, Monday, September 29. The Council meets as the Authority Board.

Antique Alley, a new family-owned business venture in the former Davis Western Store, requested funding from the Lamar Urban Redevelopment Authority to install a new HVAC system.  The building improvement grant, submitted by Cora Laughlin, comes to $8,380 and needs to be matched by a 10% contribution from the owner. The original request was for a lesser amount, but a Fire Department Code requirement for a side door which opens on East Beech Street increased the funding.  The current door opens to the inside of the building and for safety concerns, the door must open outside to the street and be rated to withstand 30 minutes of exposure to a fire before it burns through.

The antique store, located at 101 South Main, is being refurbished, according to Shawna Hodge, Executive Director of Lamar Partnership Inc.  She said the building which dates back to 1886, has significant historical value for Main Street and the community and once it’s in operation, will help contribute to the city’s sales tax base.  The estimate for the HVAC project from Parker Heating and Air is $6,910.  Council members expressed some concern upon learning that the assessed value of this building’s improvements will not generate any TIF, Tax Incremental Funding revenue, despite the upgrades.  The donations for business improvements are funded directly from the taxes generated from augmented property values within the Redevelopment District.

Because of past renovations and upgrades, the building would need to be altered to be listed on a historic register, but the family has already spent upwards of $43,000 for improvements and hasn’t expressed an interest for historical preservation. The procedures for funding requests have altered in that a request will first be considered by the Authority and will either be accepted, altered, or rejected by the Board at a subsequent meeting, usually within two weeks.  There was some discussion among board members about the size of the matching contribution for future donations, but no set amount was agreed upon.  The contract will be brought before the Board on October 13.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyFeaturedLamarProwers CountyUtilities


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