Two members of the Casper City Council attended one of two former Plains Furniture building and old livery stable walkthroughs the City offered on Friday, March 15.
The deadline for the new round of proposals is May 3, according to the City. The City received two proposals to redevelop the properties during a previous round of proposals, but City Council decided to reject those proposals because they did not meet or exceed the City’s appraised values for the properties.
Lutz and Bates toured the interiors of both the former Plains Furniture building and the livery stable, climbing stairs in the old livery stable to check out the roof.
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As they toured the Plains Furniture building, Bates remarked that he was impressed at how well the concrete foundation had held up. He also noted surprise at how well aspects of the interior, including walls and windows remained intact.
“So if someone were to redevelop this, they could just take down those bricks and this original framework would still be here,” he said of brickwork covering up the windows and walls of the Plains building.
Bates also noted the original mosaic tiles on the floors and the original brickwork in the walls.
“What I like about old buildings is thinking about all the people who’ve been in here before,” he said. “Including the people who built it. Think of how much went into placing these bricks piece by piece.
As they toured the old livery stable, the Council members again took note of the sound concrete work on the property. But they also noticed that the roof was not in good condition.
“It’s be a shame because it is a cool old building, but I could understand why they might want to tear it down,” Bates said of the livery stable.
He added that he thought it would be nice if a redeveloper could think of a way to keep elements of the original face of the structure intact.
The Plains Furniture property was originally the site of Nolan Chevrolet in the 1920s. Modifications were made in the 1970s to transform it into the Plains store.
The City originally planned to tear the building down after purchasing it in 2016 for downtown parking, but after discovering aspects of the car dealership, including a maintenance garage and a garage bay of the old Casper Fire Station No. 1.
The City’s request for redevelopment propsals now includes language that would allow the City Council to accept an application that didn’t meet the appraised values, but was a price the Council considers a “fair-market value”.
Community Development Director Liz Becher said the appraised value of the properties were as follows:
- Plains lot 1: $370,000
- Plains lot 2: $240,000
- Plains lot 3: $235,000
- Livery stable: $300,000
- Parking lot: $275,000