Thursday, April 4, 2013

CITY HALL EYEBALL: Got ideas for the vacant Mann Center?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM

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If you have a plan to save the vacant Joe E. Mann Army Reserve Center in Hillyard — or just want to hear what might happen to the place — tonight's the night. 

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart and council members Mike Fagan and Amber Waldref will be at the Northeast Community Center from 6-8 pm tonight to hear your ideas on what the spot should be used for. 

While they aren't yet sending out a formal request for project proposals to renovate the site (that'll happen later this month), the city is looking for general input from the community on what type of use they'd like to see on the land. (Commercial? Public? Tear the whole thing down?) That, council members say, will help them narrow down their request and get projects that are comparable.

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Back in 2010, the future of the spot seemed clear. The school district planned to take it over and use it as office space — maybe eventually as another alternative high school. But over last fall and winter, vandals destroyed most of the building’s interior, and the district backed out of the deal, worried renovations would be too expensive. That left the building and its $1 million worth of damages in the lap of the Spokane City Council.

The Department of Defense owns the land, but the city is its steward, tasked with figuring out what its fate should be. And if a proposed renovation has enough "public benefit," council members say, the DOD may turn over the land for free.

More city hall news here.



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