Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Renovation of Kingman historic building could help revitalize downtown

[Source: Suzanne Adams, Kingman Daily Miner] -- Good things come to those who wait. The merchants in downtown Kingman have been waiting for a long time for something to happen with the old Central Commercial building at the intersection of Beale and Fourth streets. Starting the first week of December, the city will be helping Joe Ott, the owner of the building, renovate its facade. The plan is to take it back as far as possible to the original look of the building.

The building is made up of one large central portion and two smaller buildings with additions. It was built around 1917. The building was used as a commercial goods store. According to records at the Mohave Museum of History and Arts, the store sold everything from clothing and shoes to food, tools and furniture. The building at the corner of Fourth and Beale streets is the oldest part of the structure. It originally held a bank and upstairs apartments. Another section of the building, which now houses The Spinster craft store, was once a post office.

The city applied for and received a $700,000 Community Development Block Grant from the federal government. Some of the money went to renovating part of the Boys and Girls Club downtown. Around $500,000 of it will go to renovating the outside of the Central Commercial Building. This is the first time the city has used grant money to help a private individual, said Bill Shilling, a grant administrator for the city of Kingman, who is in charge of the project. The main reason why the city is helping Ott renovate the building is because of health and safety issues, Shilling said. Several of the awnings and a parapet wall along the top of one of the buildings need to be repaired or replaced. Ott will be putting about $285,000 of his own money into the project. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo of Commercial Building by Suzanne Adams, Kingman Daily Miner.]