By Patrick Stout
Posted Jan. 29, 2014 @ 6:00 am
Aldermen were told this week that repairs would soon begin to the former Lamoine Hotel.
The five-story local landmark, the tallest building downtown, has been optioned as a possible assisted care site with commercial offices on the ground floor.
Mayor Mike Inman said renovation work would start either late this week or early next week. He said half the city parking lot behind the building would be reserved for construction workers.
The mayor said crews would initially work on asbestos removal and roof construction. Inman said the new roof would be mechanically attached rather than sealed, allowing for the work to continue through winter weather.
Former home to The McDonough County Voice newspaper office, the city council voted in September to enter into an agreement, which had called for the developer’s total investment of a minimum $205,000 to match the city’s $200,000 contribution, with Trotter General Contracting for purchase and development of the hotel, located at 203 N. Randolph St.
Some aldermen had at the time of the agreement expressed concern for an anticipated market study to justify loans for converting the old space and the city’s contributing funds with no fiscal payback. Alderman Dave Dorsett had called Trotter’s proposal “probably the best project we’re going to find” for the old hotel.