In an effort to save the historic Bozeman Lehrkind Brewery wall, incentives are being presented to the owner of the property.
The Northeast Urban Renewal Board has offered to help fund fees associated with sidewalks, streets, and connections to city water and sewer lines.
“This is what we have left that truly holds the fabric of this unique historic brewery together. It’s what we have to work with, so I feel like we do need to work with what we have,” stated Chris Nixon, the co-owner of the Lehrkind Mansion Bed and Breakfast, which sits right next door to the only remaining wall of the Lehrkind Brewery.
The brewery was built back in 1895, and Nixon, along with many other neighbors feel the wall needs to stay. “We’ve had two massive neighborhood association meetings and overwhelmingly, and I’m going to state probably about 97% of people at each of those meetings, have been in favor of retaining the historic facade of the building,” stated Nixon.
Most of the brewery on North Wallace Avenue was torn down in 2007 and 2008 and the owner of the property’s plans to build a condominium and office complex which incorporated the wall, never happened. So last week, the citizen advisory board contacted the owner sharing their ideas on incentives for re-development, but they have not received a response to their letter.
“The Northeast Urban Renewal Board receives annual funds that they can allocate portions of in an effort to assist the redevelopment of this property,” stated Erik Nelson, the Chair for the board.
Nelson tells us if the owner expresses interest in the offer, there are a few steps that need to be taken, “present what their ideas are, how they align with the district goals and plans, and see what assistance we can provide.”
Even though the vast majority of the nearby property owners are in favor of the wall being used in future development, Bobby Clem who owns the property just across the street thinks the wall needs to come down. “It’s structurally is just no longer sound,” stated Clem.
She is the vice president of the Gallatin County Historic Preservation District and states she is all about preserving history, but in this case she has contacting the city asking them to grant Scala Properties, who owns the land, to demolish the wall.
“I fell it is unsafe and I feel it is a danger to both pedestrians and drivers who are driving past on Wallace Avenue,” stated Clem.
A tiny more than a year ago the Bozeman City Commission denied Scala’s request to demolish the wall. The developer can request demolition again in January of 2013.
Nelson also tells us that this incentive offer is not exclusive for the Lehrkind Brewery Property; they plan to grant other properties in the district to take advantage of the program.
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Submited at Sunday, March 18th, 2012 at 8:00 pm on Uncategorized by admin
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