A local family who owns a piece of downtown real estate is shopping around with hopes to develop the building.
The former Quality Chevrolet building, and block where the building is located, has been in the Reed family for many years, according to Elliott Reed who spoke on behalf of the family.
The building is across Main Street from the United Bank of Union at Washington Avenue.
Reed said his family is seeking a business or other development at the site.
There have been some inquiries, including a recent call to The Missourian, questioning why nothing has been done with the building. One caller was misinformed on who actually owns the former Quality Chevrolet building.
“A lot of people have misinformation,” said Reed. “The bottom line is the property is for sale — a lot of people have talked about doing things with the site, but nobody approached us with a solid plan.”
He added that there have been conceptual plans presented to the owners but those never came to fruition.
Reed explained that building had been in his family during the time that it was operated as a Chevrolet dealership.
A group of investors purchased the building several years ago and made efforts to develop the property, however taxes on the property were not paid, and it was foreclosed on. The property and building were then reclaimed by the Reed family.
According to City Administrator Russell Rost, said the city is working with the site owners to seek state incentives to develop the site.
“They (Reed family) agreed to try and work with us to get something done on the site,” said Rost. “I am in contact with the owners periodically and we will proceed to get the site cleaned up if they don’t qualify with getting incentives for the site.”
Rost further explained that the city has not looked closely at taking extreme measures with the site.
“The city could call it a dangerous building, but the process is expensive for both parties,” he said. “It is more beneficial if find another solution for the site.”
The block and buildings had been purchased by Union business owners including Jim Ming called “Quality Investors.” The group had negotiated with representatives of Central Market Inc., owners of Fricks Market, to sell property for expansion of the store.
City officials agreed to vacate Locust Street to allow for Fricks Market to expand north, contingent on the purchase of a block of buildings, including the former Quality Chevrolet building.
Rost added that Fricks ownership group backed out of negotiations because there are underground fuel tanks on the site, which required additional environmental studies that what had already been conducted.
After that deal fell through, Central Market Inc., owners entered into an agreement with the Jim Trenary Automotive Group in Union to relocate the business to that company’s site on North Church Street.