- Associated Press - Monday, November 10, 2014

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - The owner of a partially collapsed 100-year-old building in downtown Pine Bluff is waiting for city leaders to let him know if he can fix it.

Owner Garland Trice has submitted a restoration plan for the former Shriner building, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/10PU3dx ) reported. He said the three-story building is “an important part of Main Street” and he wants to save it.

The structure has been vacant for many years, and no one was injured when its roof collapsed in late July. Southbound lanes of a road adjacent to the building are still closed.

Technical inspector Jamin Ross of the Pine Bluff Planning and Zoning Department said the city is reviewing Trice’s plan and will likely rule on it this week.

Ross said the city won’t discuss the plan until Trice is notified of the decision.

Earlier this year, in February, the rear section of another vacant two-story building on Main Street collapsed. No injuries were reported, and construction crews razed the building a short time later. Rubble was cleared away this summer.

The city is also dealing with two other vacant structures on Main Street that city inspectors say are in danger of collapsing. Ross said a timeline for demolition work is still being put together.

Jack Stradley owns several buildings downtown and said the condition of those buildings concerns him.

“I have known for a long time that many downtown buildings were too far gone,” he said. “Now I just wonder how many will have to be torn down. It’s a real shame, and I hate to see it happening.”


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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