New downtown development planned

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11309584151857.jpg’, ‘Architectual rendering by William Johannes’, ”);

A group of local area investors has purchased the property at South Church and Cedar streets. “We bought it quickly,” said Alan Murphy, a member of the land acquisition group. Purchased from William Charles, Ltd., the property is being held in trust.

Murphy said he would meet with Mayor Larry Morrissey Tuesday, Nov. 1 to discuss the project. “We’re going to work with the city,” he said. “We like what the mayor is trying to do (downtown). Right now, we’re proposing some type of multi-use facility.”

Murphy said plans are not finalized, and for now there is no name for the new development. With the railroad yards on its southern property line, the former freight warehouse is zoned industrial. He said the proposed new federal courthouse will be located just across Cedar Street.

Architect Bill Johannes said the development is in the very early stages. “We’re looking at a mixed-use, probably business and commercial. The second floor has 15-foot ceilings so it gives us the chance to have some nice lofts.” He said residential space is definitely being considered.

Johannes said the building formerly was used by the railroad to store freight. “They used to unload freight cars on one side and load trucks on the other side,” he said.

“Our approach,” Johannes said, “is to get the building to work for itself. The first phase is to figure out what the need is downtown.”

From the Nov. 2-8, 2005, issue

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