Under the proposed agreement, Cohen would buy properties, including the residence, for $100, and the city would provide a development incentive of $75,000 to help with possible demolition, site work and other costs. The project would receive a 15-year tax abatement, as did The Marcum.
It’s important to have the apartments to support the new businesses moving into the Main Street area, Smith said. Among ways to avoid demolishing the residence would be increasing the apartment building from four levels to five. Vice Mayor Eric Pohlman wondered whether developers also could buy properties west of the duplex.
Smith said he hopes “to bring back an update, if not at the first, but the second meeting of council in September with some creative ideas on how we can preserve that duplex while still accomplishing what we need to accomplish, which in my mind is that 50-plus-unit apartment complex,” Smith said.
After the vote, Mayor Pat Moeller said, “I hope the option of keeping that is looked into. It could add to the character of that block, in kind-of a neat way.”