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This 10,270-square-foot building at 2212 N. Nelson Drive, which is owned by the city, will be torn down this fall along with a storage structure behind it. City officials tried to find a tenant for it, but say its poor condition was a major factor in making that search unsuccessful.

There will be a new look to a parcel along North Nelson Drive: a longtime building there will be demolished.

The former Rent-A-Center structure at 2212 N. Nelson was approved to be taken down under a contract with a private firm.

The action was taken by the City Council at its Sept. 10 meeting and the actual work should take place sometime in October, according to Deputy City Manager Kiel Mangus.

The job should take one to two weeks. The building won’t take long to demolish, he said, but the concrete base will take some time.

The city is now the owner of the building, as it purchased the 2.92-acre lot at auction, which had three buildings on it, along with a 3.17-acre vacant lot just north of it, which is 2230 N. Nelson.

Late last year, the Public Works Department took down a small structure on the east side of the lot.

There were two remaining buildings, the 10,270-square-foot Rent-A-Center building, which needs work to make it viable for a business, and a 4,960-square-foot steel storage shed. Both were built in 1974.

City officials attempted to seek a private business that would like to rent those two buildings, but were unsuccessful. In his background notes to the council, Mangus cited a “state of disrepair” as the reason.

“It’s in poor shape,” he said.

The long-range plan is for the city to have that land to use for a West End redevelopment project.

The tentative thought is to have a road or access way be placed there going east from Nelson Drive.

That is still in the future and no contracts have been issued to build such a road, but with the city as the land’s owner, its officials will have the options they need to direct its future use.

However, city officials figured it would best to prepare the land for an eventual new use and the remaining buildings need to go.

Strong market for crushed concrete

They received six bids for the job and the council approved a low bid from Air Capitol Recycling LLC of $24,950 for the building teardown and $7,500 for the site concrete removal.

Another reason to move now, they pointed out, is that the need for crushed concrete base is currently strong, thus they can get a good price on the work.

The bid from Air Capitol, which recycles material, was much lower than the most expensive bid of $60,000 for the same task.

The city will be paying for the $32,450 project from its CIP Miscellaneous Facilities Improvements fund.

“We got a really good price on it,” he said.

While the city’s Public Works Department has done building demolishing in the past, it isn’t doing this one because it is a big building that requires some larger equipment in order to be safely brought down, Mangus said.

Also, the concrete crushing is something that the city doesn’t have the specialized equipment to do.

According to county tax records, the property had a 2019 appraisal of $326,210. The assessment was $81,553 and the 2018 property taxes were $11,410.

The city is in the process of applying for exemption from taxes on the property.

“We pay the taxes until the Board of Tax Appeals issues an exemption and then we receive a refund of any taxes we have already paid,” Mangus said.

The closest business to the site is Parrot House Exotics pet store at 2142 N. Nelson, Unit A, just to the lot’s south.

“I knew it was coming, but didn’t know when,” said owner Melissa Simmons of the change.

The only downside, said Simmons, who leases her building, is that it does take away from extra parking. Customers had been using the lot on occasion as overflow parking from her small lot. 

But having a new road there in the future would be a big bonus, she said, as it would increase her business’s visibility and passing traffic count.