Structurally sound doesn't pay the bills

November 11, 2013 

So the Meredith Home building in Belleville is structurally sound. Great, but big deal.

The preservationists think this means the building is saved. But who's going to redevelop it? This isn't like the YMCA, when a developer asked for a modest tax incentive. People would want millions of tax dollars. Mayor Mark Eckert said a hotel developer was interested in the Meredith Home building -- if the city contributed $6.2 million to the $12 project. Fortunately, Eckert said no way.

There's the issue of parking, or rather the lack of it, near the building. The building has sat empty since 2010 and continues to deteriorate.

Another major sticking point: The City Council already accepted $500,000 from attorney Bruce Cook to tear down the building and turn the land into a park. Giving back the money wouldn't be enough of an apology.

Saving the building still is pie in the sky but demolition is a much more likely outcome.

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