LOGAN – Members of the Historic Preservation Committee will meet November 18 at 12 p.m. in the Logan Municipal Council Chambers to approve or deny a request to demolish the Emporium building.
In an email sent to Center Block property owners Wednesday morning, Mayor Holly Daines invited owners to attend and make comments during the public hearing. She also updated owners on the proposed plans for Center Block.
“We have been working on this for a long time and this is just the next step,” said Daines. “It’s time to go to the (HPC) with a yes or no vote.”
The plans, unveiled on September 25 and yet to be finalized, have been revised several times by Developer Dan Lofgren after listening to public comments and concerns from business owners, according to Daines.
The proposal includes an apartment building, plaza, ice rink, water feature, stage and parking structure.
While several business owners in the downtown area have expressed approval of the plans, others, including Eugene Needham III, owner of Logan Fine Art Gallery, will attend the public hearing to ask members of the HPC to deny the request.
“I’m kind of distraught with the situation,” said Needham. “It’s just not what I had hoped Holly would have come up with. We waited a year and a half for her plans to finally come, and then to me they’re such a disappointment.”
Needham believes the Emporium should be saved. He suggested using money set aside to tear down the Emporium be used to re-purpose the building and bring back retail shops and a restaurant.
Needham also has an issue with the proposed parking structure. “We won’t have the convenient street level parking that we have now,” he said.
Daines insisted that Lofgren has addressed many of the parking issues and “is working on yet another potential design to further address parking concerns.”
In the email to owners, Daines stated: “This will continue to be a public process. Once we get to a workable plan that has support (and I realize it will never be 100% support) we still have to bring that plan to HPC, then Planning Commission, and of course get approval from City Council for funding, using RDA fund reserves.”
“I want everyone to know when it is (the public hearing),” said Daines. “We’re not trying to hide this. Please come and give us comments, pro or con. That’s what a public hearing is for, it’s part of the process.”