News article by Rick Charmoli of the Cadillac News: http://www.cadillacnews.com/articles/2009/03/19/news/722065.txt
CADILLAC - Cadillac City Manager Pete Stalker is hopeful when it comes to ‘rehabing’ a Cadillac landmark.
Since May 2008, the Cobbs and Mitchell Building, 100 E. Chapin St., has been vacant and is now in the process of finding a new developer/owner. Although the building is currently owned by the state of Michigan, Stalker said the city has been acting as a conduit to try to help get a deal together.
"It is a partnership we have formed with the state to find a party that is interested in rehabilitating the structure and returning it to use," Stalker said. "That is the primary goal at this point."
"There have been no proposals submitted yet, but we have had a couple inquiries," Stalker said.
Stalker said what has been making it difficult are the strict regulations a potential developer must meet to rehab the building. That requirement is a historical preservation easement, Stalker said.
"One concern we had was the state put a requirement of a historical preservation easement, which means anyone who rehabs the building has to work with the Department of Interior standards for historical preservation," he said. "While we are in favor of preserving the structure, we are hoping the strict adherence of standards doesn’t sway someone from moving forward."
The deadline for proposals is March 24, and Stalker said there are some concerns if no proposals are submitted. If that happens, one option available to the state is demolition, but Stalker said he hopes that can be avoided.
"Our main goal is to help identify a developer who is willing to take the building to a level where it can be reused," he said. "If there is no interest, one concern is that it will be demolished by the state. We will work as hard as we can to avoid that."
The Cobbs and Mitchell Building was completed in 1907 and housed many lumbering interests until 1939. In 1939, the Michigan State Highway Department, now the Michigan Department of Transportation, occupied the building until May 2008.
To view the complete Cobbs and Mitchell Building request proposal, go to www.cadillac-mi.net.