The former Army Reserve training center is demolished; owner plans to build strip mall – Muddy River News
Demolition crews demolished the former Lincoln-Douglas U.S. Army Reserve Training Center at 601 N. 36th earlier this week. | david adam
QUINCY – Call it “the target effect”.
Demolition of the former Lincoln-Douglas U.S. Army Reserve Training Center at 601 N. 36th began last week. EJB Real Estate LLC owns the property. Owner Eric Booth hopes to turn it into a multi-tenant commercial building, more commonly known as a strip mall.
News that the Target Real Estate Corporation has acquired development rights to the Quincy property that once housed Kmart at 36th and Broadway has been one of the city’s worst-kept secrets this winter. A memorandum of lease signed April 28 was filed Monday at the Adams County Recorder’s office. It shows that the Minneapolis-based Target Corporation will lease the property from Quincy Development Partners LLC.
The reserve center was on the west side of 36th Street across from Kmart.
Booth: ‘It’s too prime real estate to let it sit’
Booth also owns Outdoor Power, 609 N. 36th, on the same five-acre lot. Once the demolition is complete, he thinks he will have room for 50,000 square feet of building space.
“With Target coming in, it’s too prime real estate to let it sit with a building that’s past its lifespan,” Booth said. “Immediate future (plans are) just to clean up the site. I’ll probably put up a ‘build to measure’ sign saying we’re looking for tenants. I’d like to get a lead tenant or some tenants signed before you order a building. “
Booth says demolishing the building and cleaning up the site will take about a month. He believes this will help boost the number of people who inquire about the site.
“I’ve had people (showing interest) over the last two years, but it’s too early in the game,” he said. “Part of the reason I’m tearing down the building is that most people can’t see past this big, massive building to realize the size of this site. People couldn’t figure out where everything was. would go and where everything would go.
“Once everything is cleaned up and the sign is there, I think it will be a little clearer.”
Post 37 sold property for $1 to the feds in the 1950s
The reserve center, a 15,589 square foot building, had a meeting hall, offices, classrooms, gymnasium, lounge, showers and storage area. The land also featured a 3,710 square foot operations maintenance building and a parking area of over 6,000 square feet. It had been vacant for years.
The American Legion Post 37 sold the property for $1 to the federal government in the 1950s. The center was built in 1958 for $279,850. The Army announced to the 100 Army Reserve soldiers of the 84th Training Battalion in 1994 that the facility would close in October 1995, but it was made available to other military units.
Post 37 hoped to move there from its current building at 116 N. Eighth. U.S. Representative Darin LaHood introduced legislation allowing Post 37 to obtain an acre of land on 36th Street, but he did not leave the committee to receive a vote from the full United States House.
Booth bought the building in July 2018 with a bid for $602,000 on the General Services Administration’s auction site.
Quincy City Council has rezoned the property to commercial starting with the planned commercial in February 2019.
Booth has no preference for the types of businesses that might build on his property.
“See what people are offering, see what calls come in and out of there,” Booth said. “I’d like to see a good mix of complementary businesses, but you don’t know who’s going to call. Not sure if some businesses follow Target nationwide, and you don’t know that some local businesses might want to move closer to a high-traffic area.
“You kind of don’t know until you see what people want. Then you go from there.
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