Council approves redevelopment of 101 Jackson Street

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The property at 101 Jackson St. will soon have new life after the Jefferson City Council approved a redevelopment bid for the property.

On Tuesday, council voted 6-3 to waive a 30-day objection period to local nonprofit Transformational Housing’s $1,000 bid to redevelop 101 Jackson St. and two vacant lots neighbors — 504 and 514 E. State St. By waiving the objection period, the nonprofit can begin making improvements immediately.

The nonprofit plans to turn 101 Jackson St. into five apartments and use 504 E. State St. for off-street parking and a safe play area for children living at home. The current plan is for 514 E. State St. to remain greenspace, but it could be used for future additional housing, depending on supply.

The Jefferson City Housing Authority currently owns all three properties and approved Transformational Housing’s proposal on Tuesday morning.

Councilors Ron Fitzwater, Derrick Spicer and Scott Spencer voted against lifting the objection period. Fitzwater said he was concerned about giving away vacant land, especially 514 E. State St., because the city is redeveloping the Missouri State Penitentiary area.

“We plan to invest over $100 million in this project, which makes this real estate (the vacant land) potentially very valuable to the long-term goals of the city in terms of what we would like to see between our The capitol complex and what we’re hoping will be a prison switch project and lots of opportunities between (them),” Fitzwater said.

The 101 Jackson St. property would need an easement to run a sewer line through 514 E. State St. to 101 Jackson St., Transformational Housing Board Chairman John Blosser said. Getting an easement could take around three or four months, which is too long of a wait due to the deterioration of the property, said Housing Authority executive director Michelle Wessler. This is why the association included the vacant lot in its amended proposal.

In addition to needing sewers, Transformational Housing will also have to repair the roof of 101 Jackson St. within 60 days. If the nonprofit can access the property “as soon as possible so they can make those repairs to the roof,” Wessler said, the property will have a better chance of being salvageable.

Blosser told council he was confident Transformational Housing could rehabilitate the property. According to its bid, Transformational Housing estimated that the full renovations would cost more than $544,000 and take about two years.

Ward 2 Councilman Mike Lester said he favors the proposal because it would breathe new life into these properties, especially at 101 Jackson St., which has been run down and vacant for many years.

“I see this as an opportunity to put this property to good use and fulfill a need in the city,” he said.

Transformational Housing originally put out a bid for the property last month that included a request for $10,000 from the Housing Authority to help repair the building’s roof, which the Housing Authority had asked the city to help pay. However, after some hesitation from the city council, Transformational Housing amended its proposal so that it did not include the requested funds for roof repairs.

The property at 101 Jackson St. was one of those the Housing Authority took possession of Barbara Buescher in 2019 following a lawsuit. Since then, he has sought redevelopment proposals for the property.

entertainment center

The City Council also considered a proposed plan and tax abatement for the development of a multi-purpose entertainment center at the former Capitol Bowl location during its Tuesday meeting.

If the city council approves the bill, it would authorize a development plan, development agreement and partial tax abatement for the 2017 redevelopment of Christy Drive, where the old Capitol Bowl was located. DGVGB, LLC plans to develop Striker’s Grill & Tornado Alley, a multi-purpose entertainment center that includes bowling, video games, pool tables, arcade, restaurant and bar.

DGVGB, LLC estimates that improvements to the property will cost more than $4.1 million, according to its business plan.

Capitol Bowl was demolished after being damaged in the May 2019 tornado. The area was later deemed destroyed, according to the proposed bill.

If council approves the bill, it would reduce 75% of property taxes on improvements for an initial 10-year period and 50% of all property taxes for a subsequent 15-year period.

The council is currently due to vote on the proposed bill on February 7.

In other cases

• City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with the Cole County and Central Missouri Regional Planning Commission to allow the city to apply for a CARES Act Community Development Block Grant on behalf of Cole County for an EMS substation. The proposed ambulance substation would be in a county-owned parking lot across from the county jail on Adams Street.

The city plans to seek $2 million in CDBG-CV grant funds, the resolution says.

If granted, the city may seek reimbursement for its grant administration activities up to a maximum of $45,000. The Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission may also seek reimbursement of an additional $45,000. Cole County would be responsible for project amounts not covered by the grant.

The Cole County Commission approved the deal Tuesday morning.

• The City Council voted on Tuesday to send a bill that proposed expanding mural regulations and the permitting process to the City of Jefferson’s Public Works and Planning Committee for review. After some discussion with council, there was confusion regarding the current mural regulations and the city code definition of murals, so council members asked for more information.

The proposed bill would amend Chapter 3 of the city code to allow churches and schools to place murals in residential zoning districts and allow murals to be located on the right-of-way, among other changes.

• Council also authorized a total additional appropriation of $200,000 from the general fund, parks fund, airport fund, parking fund, transit fund and sewage fund. The additional appropriation will go to the City’s workers’ compensation fund to cover claims and the provision for unsettled claims for the 2021 fiscal year.

• The council on Tuesday approved a resolution authorizing the Jefferson City Police Department to reinvest unspent funds in recruiting and retaining police officers and communications operators. Over the past three years, the police department has had an average of $183,336 per year in surplus funds from its personnel services portion of its annual budget.

Along with the resolution, the board approved a bill to amend the 2021-22 budget and authorize the police department to purchase five ballistic shields and a drone using $26,397 in drug forfeiture court funds.

• Also on Tuesday, the city approved a substitute resolution allowing the city to hire Beth McGeorge to manage, market and sell city-owned residential and commercial properties. Under this replacement contract, the city will pay the real estate broker a 6% commission for any property listed and sold, plus a service fee of $195 per transaction.

• The council heard a bill Tuesday that would change a grant agreement with the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The city entered into a $202,931 grant agreement with MoDOT in December 2020 to fund the replacement of airfield lighting that was damaged by flooding. Although the project was completed, the final work on the project did not occur by the deadline specified in the grant agreement due to equipment delivery issues. The amendment would extend the grant so that all project expenses are eligible for the grant, the bill says.

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