POINT PLEASANT — A new chapter is unfolding for a piece of Main Street in downtown Point Pleasant.
This past Saturday, the City of Point Pleasant conducted an auction for the sale of property located in the 400 block of Main Street, specifically for its side of the lot where the former Franklin building sat for years.
At Monday’s regular city council meeting, it was reported there were two bids on the property, which had a reserve, minimum bid of $10,000. After the bidding, the lot was sold for $17,000 to Kyle McCausland. Mayor Brian Billings spoke to council about the sale, saying McCausland had also purchased the other side of the lot owned by a private individual and included the elevator shaft.
Billings told council that McCausland had requested the elevator shaft be saved from demolition with possible plans to place a town clock at the top of the structure. Billings said further development plans for the property were not known at this time, though everyone on council seemed to be pleased with the sale, with a unanimous vote to approve McCausland’s purchase of the property.
City Attorney R.F. Stein Jr. said McCausland now has 30 days to close and was also paying closing costs on the sale.
Councilwoman Elaine Hunt said she felt with McCausland’s passion for historic preservation, he could turn the lot into something special on Main Street.
The Franklin building, which had fallen into decline, was razed in May and cost the city $61,260, including asbestos abatement, to bring it down. That work was done by E&R Excavating Co., of New Haven, which ultimately discounted the city $500 off that original bid price, since the elevator shaft was not demolished. The $17,000 from the sale will help offset some of those demolition costs paid from the city’s general fund.
Once the building came down, it also revealed a unique historic mural, so in addition to the aesthetic improvement, as well as the chance at further economic development of the lots, the city will now be off the hook for the nearly $8,000 a year spent in liability insurance alone on the former structure.
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