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Davis Furniture Building: Demolish or save?

Bill Rinehart

The 157 year old Davis Furniture building at Central Parkway and Main Street, has been vacant for ten years, and since that time, it's been deteriorating.  Scott Stough of the Stough Group says it's an eyesore that his company would like to get rid of.  They've been renovating buildings across the street, and he says the Davis building is depreciating the value.  The Stough Group purchased the four story structure last year and looked into fixing it, but he says it was too costly.  Stough says they looked for historic tax credits along with credits to turn the building residential, or a combination of residential and retail, but still could not justify the cost of repairs.  “This building, any way you cut it, will not be any positive return on an investment,” he says.

And Stough says while 3CDC has made an offer, it wasn't a tenable proposal.  Stough says he wants renovations done in a timely manner, and 3CDC wasn't willing to commit.  The issue comes before the Historic Conservation Board Monday afternoon for a Certificate of Appropriateness, which would clear the way for demolition.  Stough says he's not confident they'll receive the COA, and will appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Municipal Court, if necessary.

Preservationists could not be immediately reached for comment.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.