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‘Building momentum’: Two new development projects announced

Thursday, February 16, 2017 - Updated: 11:23 AM
Areia Hathcock
Building momentum. Those are the words City of Metropolis Corporate Counsel Rick Abell used at Monday night’s meeting of the Metropolis City Council during his report to the aldermen. According to Abell, his office has received six phone calls in the past two weeks from established business owners planning to invest in more projects within the city.
The council took action on one of those projects Monday by approving a memorandum of understanding and private development agreement for a new project. Mike and Carla Souders will develop the property formerly known as the Clark School property between Fifth and Sixth streets. The development will happen in two phases. Mike Souders said phase one is a 2400 sq. ft. building that will house two food establishments. Both sides will have drive-thru windows. One of the restaurants will be a donut, cookie and coffee shop with an emphasis on donuts and will be a locally owned business. The other restaurant is still in the works and Souders is not ready to comment publicly on the name of the business yet.
In the development agreement, phase one shall be completed in 12 months and will employee no less than six people. Local contractors and laborers are also to be used to the fullest extent possible.
The city will provide an appropriate sized transformer, a water service line from Sixth street along Butler street and a water meter, all at no cost to Souders. Utility tap-on fees and permit fees are also waived.
The second phase will be multi-family housing along the Sixth street side of the property. “As soon as I finish with one phase, I’ll start the next one,” Souders said. “I’m very hopeful the first phase will be done within 12 months.” The housing unit will consist of four two-bedroom apartments.
The building at 613 Market St., formerly Farley’s Cafeteria, has been purchased by T. Reed Properties. Both the facility and the equipment were included in the purchase. After structural and mechanical repairs are made, the building will be divided into multiple tenant spaces available for rent. The project will take three to six months to complete the renovations. April Reed, co-owner of T. Reed Properties, says the company plans to apply for a Market Street Improvement Grant from the city. “We are very excited to own our first property on Market Street,” she said. “ We definitely support the prosperity and growth of the Market Street area.”

After partnering with the Greater Metropolis Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Market Street Improvement Grant program alotted $37,000 to help business owners with visual, outside improvements to their buildings.

Grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis provided they meet the standards . The program reimburses up to $2000 per project of “out of pocket” monies spent. Building owners with active businesses on Market Street between Fifth and Eighth streets are eligible to apply. Money must be used for exterior improvement projects such as painting, new signage, window treatments, awnings and other facade improvements.

So far four businesses have been awarded grants including Sixth & Vintage, Super City Antiques, Sanibel’s Treasures and Happy Hearts. Applications are available at City Hall.
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