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Future of Niedermeyer Building

***UPDATE TUESDAY 6:37 P.M.***There is some hope a historic downtown Columbia building will be preserved. We’ve been telling you since late last year the city had plans to tear down the Niedermeyer building and replace it with a 15-story student apartment complex. But once the buyer heard about the history of the building he couldn’t let it be torn down. He says he’s not looking at any expansion right now…. Only improving and preserving the building.Amy Hotchkiss was emotional when she heard the news that her home wasn’t going to be torn down. She tells ABC 17 News the latest developments mean a lot to her.”It means the promise of living there next year, I wasn’t really wanting to move at all, I love the location, I love the building itself, it has a fantastic history,” Hotchkiss says.Nakhle Asmar talked through his lawyer. He wants to make sure there continues to be affordable living for students’ downtown. Right now he isn’t focusing on expanding the apartments, but he’s looking to preserve and renovate the building. He’s also getting help from city leaders to make sure that happens. They will be finding him things like tax credits, grants and loans to make sure the project can financially go on. This isn’t the first time Asmar has had a project like this.”My client has experience in purchasing and renovating older properties in Columbia,” Asmar’s lawyer Skip Walther explained. “He’s adept at it and certainly the historical significance of this property intrigued him.”Asmar works at the University of Missouri and found out the building has ties to education. That further made up his mind to save it. For the ones like Hotchkiss that live there, they say they’re happy for the first time in months about the future.”I’m really excited to see what plans are in store for the building, as far as if they’re going to add on to the building or whatnot,” Hotchkiss says.Collegiate Housing Partners is still looking into developing an area. Officials say they’re focusing on two other areas. The company wouldn’t give any details as to where that is; only that it would be less than 15-stories.The owner said once the deal gets finalized in early April, they will figure out when the renovations will begin.***UPDATE TUESDAY 11:48 P.M.***City leaders say a preliminary agreement was reached between the current owners, Collegiate Housing Partners, and a private buyer. More information is expected about the deal once all parties sign off.”This is a complex agreement that relies on conventional financing and equity in the short-term,” said Brent Gardner, a realtor and member of the Historic Preservation Commission.Gardner said the funding efforts might include the use of historic preservation tax credits, affordable housing tax credits, energy efficiency grants and loans and other programs offered by the city.***ORIGINAL STORY***Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid has called an 11 a.m. press conference to talk about the future of the Niedermeyer Building.There had been debate about tearing down the building and replacing it with student housing.Check back on for updates.

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