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story.lead_photo.caption River Park, at 627 W. McCarty St., formerly known as the JCD Building, began a new life in 2019 as a four-story building housing Big Whiskey's restaurant, as well as retail and office space.

The recently redeveloped River Park will receive 10 years of tax abatement after the Jefferson City Housing Authority Board approved a request Tuesday.

River Park, at 627 W. McCarty St., formerly known as the JCD Building, recently began a new life as a four-story restaurant, retail and office space.

Originally built in 1905 as a shoe factory, the building was purchased by JCD Furniture in 1959. After being vacant for around nine years, it was purchased by Charles Jon Christiansen in November 2018.

Big Whiskey's American Bar & Grill opened on the first floor in early November, while the other half of that space is occupied by retailer Initially Yours. The third floor is divided into 10 individually leased office spaces, most of which are full.

The second floor is divided into office spaces for Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care, and Veterans United, acting as Military United Insurance.

Chapter 99 tax abatements can be applied to properties in blighted areas that receive renovations and improvements. The abatement means city and county property taxes will stay the same as the original assessment, before improvements, for the next 10 years.

To qualify, property owners have to provide proof they have renovated and improved the property, describe conditions that were improved and any construction plans, among other things, Housing Authority Executive Director Cynthia Quetsch said.

"You just have to show that you really have done renovation, rehabilitation, and show that you own the property and give details about what it is you're going to do to it," she said.

Quetsch also updated the board Tuesday on the progress of tornado recovery at Capital City Apartments, which are owned by the Housing Authority.

The apartments received extensive damage during the May 22 tornado, particularly to one building at 526 E. Elm St. that contains five units.

Reconstruction on the building is underway — it's ready to be roofed and new windows will be installed in about four weeks, Quetsch said.

Possible damage to windows of other Capital City Apartments buildings was noticed as the weather turned cold and tenants reported fogged up windows, which could mean broken window seals.

Quetsch said the seals could have been damaged during the tornado, and inspectors will look at them soon to determine if they need to be replaced.

As of Nov. 1, Capital City Apartments was 57 percent occupied, with a wait list of 88, according to a Housing Authority housing occupancy report. Twelve of the apartment's 43 units are currently uninhabitable due to damage, Quetsch said, while the few units which were actually empty at the time of the report were due to turnover time from residents moving out.

Also Tuesday, the board gave its approval to a request to remove a religious statue from the property of the Ken Locke Apartments.

A Stations of the Cross set — 14 stone and plaster depictions of the stages of the crucifixion of Jesus — is located on the property, left over from its past as the site of a Catholic seminary.

Robert Dudenhoffer asked permission from the Housing Authority to move the statues to a local church. The board approved the request, but Dudenhoffer needs permission from the church before they can be moved.

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