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City Seeks Funds to Demolish Vacant Route 1 Buildings

Former Arby's restaurant, Mandalay Cafe among the properties the city hopes to level.

A former Arby’s fast food restaurant; a Texaco Gas Station; a former bar called the Brass Lantern that served as a neighborhood gathering place until the 1970s.

These histories, and the dilapidated walls that contain them, could soon be leveled.

The city is applying for $140,000 in state loans and grants to knock down three empty buildings along U.S. Route 1, and to cover some marketing costs to woo new developers to those properties and three others.

City council voted to endorse the application for the Community Legacy program, which provides financial assistance for revitalization efforts.

New Economic Development Coordinator Michael Stiefvater said there’s no timeline for when the city will know if the application request will be granted.

In the meantime, though, residents will have the opportunity to learn about the status of these vacant properties and others. The city is planning a workshop to share information on empty buildings along U.S. Route 1, and to garner ideas from residents about what they want to fill those buildings.

The session will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 19 in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.

Joe Smith October 26, 2011 at 01:05 PM
Wow. Someone check the temperature in hell. Seriously, this is good news.
Matthew Byrd October 26, 2011 at 01:23 PM
I'm not sure that razing these buildings and replacing them with huge banners containing sales information is going to have the desired impact on the view along Route 1, but it's a start in the right direction.
Shannon Hoffman October 26, 2011 at 01:26 PM
Did you see that one of the buildings is one that you reported on last year? Pretty cool.
marsha October 26, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Let the volunteer fire dept's have at it!!! Great training exercise.
Chuck Ireton October 27, 2011 at 03:41 PM
Wonderful news. It's about time these eyesores go away.
TC October 28, 2011 at 04:14 AM
Until they underground the utilities on Rt 1, it's always going to look like crap, no matter how many liquor stores, fleabag motels, and empty gas stations they manage to plow under.
Richard October 30, 2011 at 12:39 PM
This is a good idea, but I agree with an earlier comment about the fencing and banners. These are eyesores themselves. Just look at the property next to the former Lasik's site. That temporary fencing has become permanent as it has been there for more than six years. Temporary fencing is used to keep the public out of on-site hazards such as abandoned buildings, open holes, etc. If the buildings were removed and the property graded and seeded there would not be a need for fencing. There are plenty of other open and undeveloped properties here that don't have this unsightly fencing. Keep the banners small and use this extra money for other demo such as the Lasik's sign, or what's left of it.
morgan gale January 02, 2012 at 12:33 PM
A fantastic idea. This is the single greatest thing to go forward in my lifetime.
Nick January 03, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Why is the City using our money to do something that absentee landowners should do in the first place? Most of these properties are poorly managed and likely in violation of various codes. If the burden of complying with city and county codes is too onerous let the landowners sell. That way these absentee landowners will be responsible for their property, not us.

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