Widgets Magazine
  • Renovation proposed for historic City Jail

    Local developer Marva Ellard has proposed renovating the long vacant old City Jail in west downtown.

    The City Council voted today to name her and her group as the conditional redeveloper of the property after Ellard's response to the city's RFP was determined to be in closest alignment with the established criteria.

    Ellard and architect Catherine Montgomery of the Preservation and Design Studio both spoke to the council before they authorized a resolution allowing the city to move forward with Ellard's group to move towards more specifics in terms of exact plans, financing and a financial projections.

    Ellard told council that although plans are still evolving, possible uses would be a conveniences / sundry store on the first floor which would service workers and visitors to the area. Other possible tenants would be a diner and fitness center as well as office space and record storage.

    Renovation of the building has been problematic due to its condition and low ceiling height.

    Economic Development Program Manager Brent Bryant said that if all goes to plan, details could be before the council in June for their approval with construction starting in the 4th quarter of 2018.

    The old jail sits directly west of soon to be demolished old courthouse and police headquarters which have been replaced with new buildings to the north and south.

    Ellard redeveloped the historic Seiber Hotel in Midtown into apartments and is now part of a group looking to re-purpose the old Villa Teresa school with townhomes, a hotel and other uses.

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