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Appraisal results expected Tuesday on renewal properties

Appraisal results expected Tuesday on renewal properties

March 19th, 2017 by Michelle Brooks in Local News

101 Jackson Street

Photo by Shelby Kardell /News Tribune.

The first seven properties in the East Capitol Avenue Urban Renewal area have been appraised.

The Jefferson City Housing Authority Board of Commissioners expects to review those results at its regular meeting Tuesday.

These buildings were named as the top priorities through a public forum, city staff recommendations and Housing Authority board review.

The first five — 103 Jackson St., 105 Jackson St., 108 Jackson St., 500 E. Capitol Ave. and 401 E. Capitol Ave. — received the most votes from the public in regard to their historic value.

Two more — 101 Jackson and 501 E. Capitol Ave. — were added later at the suggestion of city staff.

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"These are properties that, because of their valuable historic, architectural or other significance to the community, are the top priority for rehabilitation," city planner Eric Barron said at the February Housing Authority meeting. "Rehabilitation efforts should be directed toward these properties and, if the property owner is not willing or able to pursue rehabilitation on an immediate timeline, the properties should receive top priority for acquisition."

The corner of Jackson Street and Capitol Avenue is a focal point, said Cynthia Quetsch, Housing Authority executive director.

However, the Housing Authority is not interested in holding on to properties. So any property that might be acquired through this process must also have a strong potential to be privately purchased and revitalized, she said.

For example, the Parsons House at 105 Jackson St. received the strongest public support for its historic value. However, the Housing Authority would have to know there was interest in rehabilitating the property before it would look to acquire it, Quetsch explained.

"People seem to be excited about the possibility of revitalizing the neighborhood," Quetsch said.

The Historic City of Jefferson has been supportive, and several members have shown interest in buying potential properties, she said.

And the city is identifying financial assistance to help with future redevelopment.

"We're curious who is realistically interested," in investing in these properties, Quetsch said.

She suggested those interested in acquiring properties in the area could contact the Jayme Abott, city neighborhood services coordinator.

Even better, however, Quetsch suggested potential investors "should not hesitate to contact the land owner directly."

Since taking on this new urban renewal project, Housing Authority board meetings have grown from about 30 minutes to more than two hours.

"This is all new waters for everybody," Quetsch said. "The board needs to make good decisions."

At the Housing Authority's Tuesday meeting, they also will review the inspection results of the owner-occupied properties. The inspections, conducted by Housing Authority and city inspectors, were conducted only externally, as the blight determination also was based only on outside characteristics, Quetsch said.

The owners who live in their properties inside the renewal area should receive letters from the Housing Authority by the end of the week identifying what must be corrected and a timeline for completion.

Most of the remaining properties within the 33-acre downtown neighborhood are not owner-occupied.

To retain their ownership, each property's owner must sign an agreement with the Housing Authority, based on an internal and external inspection.

Inspections are underway.

"We're not interested in taking people's property; we're interested in revitalizing the area," Quetsch said.