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Jefferson City opens up two Capitol Avenue buildings ahead of request for proposal

Swipe to see the full walkthrough of 401 E. Capitol Ave.
Full walkthrough of 401 E. Capitol Ave.


Jefferson City has opened up two properties along Capitol Avenue for viewing before taking bids for redevelopment later this year.

Last week, the city said it is opening 401 E. Capitol Ave. and 429 E. Capitol Ave. for interior viewing to allow contractors to see the work that needs to be done on the structures and determine if they are interested in redevelopment.

Due to the dangerous condition of the buildings, walkthroughs are limited to licensed professionals.

"Depending on the structure, you have anything from deteriorated roofs, walls, floors that have holes in them, accumulation of debris, hoarding situations, there's also a large accumulation of human and animal waste in some of them," said Housing and Property Supervisor Dave Helmick. "They're the sites of trespassing, breaking and entering."

ABC 17 News signed a waiver to walk through 401 E. Capitol Ave. on Friday. The home had noticeable water damage, a hole in the roof, holes in the flooring, animal waste, piles of garbage and areas where it was apparent animals and humans had been living in the dangerous structure.

401 E. Capitol Ave. is one of six buildings out of 20 total properties that the city aquired in March. They will all be up for bid once Jefferson City approves the RFP.

Helmick said the city has drafted an RFP that will be presented to the Public Works and Planning Commission in June before then going to the city council for approval.

Once it's approved, the city will put out the request for proposals and the city council will decide which to award for which properties.

This is the fourth and final round of RFPs for the Capitol Avenue area, and Helmick said the city is looking for action on the properties. It doesn't want the dangerous buildings to continue to sit vacant.

"Those RFPs could be anything from rehabbing the current structures that are there, bringing them back to their historic nature, to new developments that would fit into the neighborhood and meet the historic nature of the neighborhood," Helmick said.

All rehabbing or development of the properties will have to meet the basic standards of the historic overlay district.

Jenny Smith and her husband put $5,000 down and signed an escrow agreement for 401 E. Capitol Ave. in 2022, promising to make a bid for the property once RFPs become available. Smith said she's afraid a big developer will come in and tear down the buildings.

"It's a relic of the past, it was made by craftsmanship that's no longer used anymore and it's a classic Italian-age structure. There's not many of those left in town," Smith said. "This street is so historic, it's in a historic district, and I just feel like we need to preserve this history."

The city said it is not encouraging demolition, but is ready to progress forward with redevelopment.

"We would really like to see them rehabbed and brought back to their historic nature, but if it gets to the point where a developer comes in and they want to put a structure here that's going to fit into the neighborhood and the only way to do it is to remove these dangerous buildings, then that would be an option," Helmick said.

The city has done evaluations of the sites, and Helmick said the cost to make the standing structures safe range from $300,000 for one building all the way up to $1.2 million for 429 E. Capitol Ave. This doesn't include the cost to make the structures historic and appealing.

Due to the dangerous state of the buildings, those allowed to do walkthroughs of the buildings are limited to architects, engineers and general contractors licensed with the city. Helmick said he has had five interested parties since the press release came out last week.

Anyone hoping to look inside a building must make an appointment with the Department of Planning and Protective Services by emailing Helmick. They will then have to sign a waiver.

More information about the current state of structures included in the RFP and information about setting up walkthroughs can be found on Jefferson City's website.

Article Topic Follows: Jefferson City

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Morgan Buresh

Morgan is an evening anchor and reporter who came to ABC 17 News in April 2023.


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