Sunday, November 19, 2017

Borough kicks in $70K to give troubled building a second chance

208-210 Locust Street

The troubled building at 208-210 Locust Street might be getting a new lease on life thanks to an agreement between Columbia Borough and Brookline Builders of Lancaster. Borough Council recently approved $70,000 for the Lancaster County Land Bank to assist Brookline, a historic preservation company, with restoration of the property. Brookline’s budget for the project is $232,000. According to the agreement, the company will purchase the building for the token fee of $1 with the intent of restoring the facade and performing structural repairs. Brookline will then move its sister company, Lancaster Lime Works LLC, into the building where it will use the first floor as a showroom and offices. The top two floors will be rented out as a large, single apartment. Brookline has also requested that the borough set aside two parking spaces during regular business hours for use by Lancaster Lime.

The agreement, which is subject to solicitor review, stipulates that funds provided by the borough must be repaid in entirety if the property is sold within five years of occupancy. Council President Kelly Murphy said that the Land Bank estimated the cost of an alternative plan - tearing the building down and rebuilding - to be $350,000. Borough officials agreed that no developer would be willing to invest that amount to rebuild on the property.

The building, which was thought to be in danger of collapse in 2015, was later shored up and reinforced and the facade covered in Tyvek, for a total cost to the borough of $51,911.17. The borough placed a lien on the property for that amount, which it subsequently forgave in exchange for possession from owners Sam and Cynthia Bigler of Millersville.

The backstory on the borough's acquisition of the property is HERE.

18 comments:

  1. How does a business get a building for $1, then Columbia kicks $70,000 their way for preservation, and then get two committed parking spots out front. Why should my tax dollars be spent on a project that has no bearing on the future of Columbia.
    So Sam Bigler walks away with no punishment, Columbia Borough eats the $55,000 in costs and penalties and then give a Company $70,000.
    Sam Bigler- $300,000 richer from the Walnut Street insurance claim
    Columbia Borough- -$125,000 in taxpayers money for a Sam Bigler property
    Bad business practices!

    ReplyDelete
  2. All this council does is spend the tax payers money sooner or there will be know money left they are going to bankrupt the town then i guess they will be happy

    ReplyDelete
  3. bourgh reality has 155000 to give away

    ReplyDelete
  4. Actually, it was a brilliant move for Columbia Borough ! This is also called "cut bait and run". This property was a nuisance to the Borough from Day 1 and within a few years the building could have collapsed. Hopefully Brookline will take that ugly roof line off and make it flat with a roof top deck like the one next to it, but higher with better views of the river.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, it certainly gives one ideas.....

    ReplyDelete
  6. I thought there were to be no more apartments in Columbia??

    ReplyDelete
  7. If the Borough has money to use up in a reality fund as stated above in comments and that is why they are putting up the $70,000. Why don't they use the money to help low-moderate income homeowners do repairs they cannot afford. Rather then fining them and making things harder on them

    ReplyDelete
  8. Because the aren't stuck with the ownership of those homes. The Borough was stuck with this one and there was no other way to get out. They never should have bought it to begin with. The whole idea of a land bank to acquire blighted property's is a big cost to the tax payers and this is an example of throwing good money after bad money. They are lucky that Brookline has the expertise to deal with it and even took the little property with the little grant. Who else would have ?

    ReplyDelete
  9. no more apartments in Columbia ? - only if they are designed for Millennials , irregardless of who they actually end up getting rented to

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. irregardless is not a word. Regardless is the correct way to complete that sentence.

      Delete
    2. irregardless
      Used by people who ignorantly mean to say regardless. According to webster, it is a word, but since the prefix "ir" and the suffx "less" both mean "not or with" they cancel each other out, so what you end up with is regard. When you use this to try to say you don't care about something, you end up saying that you do. Of course everyone knows what you mean to say and only a pompous,rude asshole will correct you.

      Delete
  10. Will Columbia Borough help the new owners of blighted homes under the new land bank legislation?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Biglers own 40 properties in lanc county. Must be nice to run them all down and get tax money instead of a lawsuit.

    ReplyDelete
  12. why did they buy the lot that Doolittle left at 4th and locoust st [extra 70000 buring holes in there pockets????

    ReplyDelete
  13. well - Columbia still has the property and Bigler's don't - and possession is 90% of the law. Hopefully Brookline will make Columbia Shine and everyone will say well done.

    ReplyDelete