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Rehab plans discussed for Jackson St. properties

Rehab plans discussed for Jackson St. properties

March 21st, 2018 by Nicole Roberts in News

100 Lafayette St.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

The Jefferson City Housing Authority Board of Commissioners on Tuesday began discussing its hopes for three Jackson Street properties in the East Capitol Avenue urban renewal zone.

The Housing Authority is waiting for a scheduled 1:30 p.m. Monday hearing to find out if it will possess 103 Jackson St., owned by Stephen and Cheryl Bratten, or 101 and 105 Jackson St., owned by Barbara Buescher.

Should Cole County Judge Dan Green grant the Housing Authority possession, the board discussed the next steps for the properties, such as developer requirements and timelines.

If the Housing Authority is granted possession, Housing Authority Commission Chairman Larry Vincent said, it's always been their intent to sell the properties to individuals for rehabilitation, and the Housing Authority would advertise for proposals.

Local historic preservationist Jane Beetem said several contractors have expressed interest in the three properties.

Based on those proposals, commissioners said they would decide a timeline for rehabilitating the buildings.

When rehabilitating the properties, the buildings must follow the Capitol Avenue Neighborhood Conservation Overlay District design criteria established last year by the city.

The board could decide whether the buildings would be low-income housing, Housing Authority Executive Director Cynthia Quetsch said, but Vincent cautioned against that due to the rehabilitation costs.

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"For someone to rehabilitate, it's probably going to cost more than it would to be low-income housing, so I doubt that would be feasible for somebody," said Vincent, who is the Cole County collector.

In February, the Housing Authority paid $153,000 for 101, 103 and 105 Jackson St. and to cover the cost of the court-appointed commissioners' time.

Three court-appointed commissioners assessed the properties in January, with 101 and 103 Jackson St. appraised at $55,000 each and 105 Jackson St. appraised at $39,000.

The city set aside $259,000 to pay the possible gap financing for the condemnations.

A year ago, the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, residents and city staff listed seven top-priority properties in the East Capitol Avenue urban renewal area. The Housing Authority received and reviewed appraisals for the seven properties — 101 Jackson St., 103 Jackson St., 105 Jackson St., 108 Jackson St., 401 E. Capitol Ave., 500 E. Capitol Ave. and 501 E. Capitol Ave.

In August, the Housing Authority filed the civil suit with plans to acquire 101, 103 and 105 Jackson St.

The Housing Authority offered to purchase the properties, Quetsch said, but Buescher refused and the Brattens did not respond to the offer.

Also on Tuesday, the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners granted Tom Scheppers and Joe Stockman a 30-day extension to finish renovations to 100 Lafayette St., owned by Scheppers.

Due to the weather, Stockman said he had a few things left to fix, like brick work and installing a door and a couple more windows. He anticipates finishing the work within the next month, weather permitting.

Holly Stitt has been helping with the property and said she showed the building to several people interested in transforming it into offices, restaurants or a brewery.

In October, Scheppers signed a rehabilitation agreement, which expired Tuesday. The Housing Authority granted Scheppers a time extension to sign a rehabilitation agreement in May because he planned to submit a Planned Unit Development plan for his Lafayette Street property and three vacant lots on State Street. When his extension ended in mid-August, the Housing Authority did not grant him another extension.

The Jefferson City Council approved the East Capitol Avenue urban renewal zone, bordered by East State Street, Lafayette Street, East High Street — including some parcels on the south side of East High Street — and Adams Street in 2016 after a study found the area to be blighted due to deteriorating conditions of some properties.