Todd Dagenhart: Redevelopment plan fits vision for city’s future
By Todd Dagenhart
We would like to thank everyone for their support concerning our building project at 201 E. Innes St. In response to the letter written by Karen Hobson published in Sunday’s newspaper, we would like to clarify some of her statements and give more detail on what we envision for the site.
We did receive approval to build on the site after completing Phase 1 and Phase 2 environmental studies. We would not have purchased the property nor would we have wasted the HPC’s time to hear our case had we not had this approval.
We did meet with two of the Historic Salisbury Foundation’s board of trustee members last winter as we initially started investigating the property. They were both very kind to share their thoughts with us and brainstorm possibilities for development. In early spring we met with our architect and after many discussions it became apparent the best use of the property would be to demolish the building and construct a new building on the corner. Two big reasons for new construction at the front of the lot: (1) It doubles our parking spaces in back from nine to 18. Our healthcare consulting business has 15 employees with growth plans. (2) After having discussions with downtown representatives it was discovered that downtown Salisbury is in desperate need for residential units and this building would satisfy that need as well. It simply became apparent that a new structure would be better for our healthcare consulting business and at the same time offer residential space for the public. It fits with the 2020 vision plan for Salisbury.
It is obvious that no one was ever going to reuse the old garage. Downtown Salisbury currently has pizza parlors and coffee shops in the immediate area of the garage. At best the garage has only had short term tenants for the past 10 years and has sat vacant for the past three years. Frankly, this block of Innes Street needs a jumpstart and we are here to make it happen! We have had discussions with one of the adjacent warehouse owners and he is all for our project and would love to see his building and parking lot by the Firehouse incorporated into a master plan of redevelopment over the next two to five years. We agree and think it can happen.
We are currently working with our architect to finalize a plan for everyone to see. I think you will agree that the structure itself fits downtown Salisbury and our reuse of the granite truly sets it apart.