Council expected to sign off on lease

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The eyesore in the midst of Suffolk’s revitalization plan is closer to getting a makeover.

Tonight, Suffolk City Council is expected to sign off on a lease agreement for the 83-year-old Professional Building with North Main Street, L.L.C., amounting to at least $27,253 for the first year.

Plans are to house a restaurant on the lower level of the seven-story building, and move the School Administration offices in. The city’s Industrial Development Authority has obtained ownership of the building, and a purchase by developers to the tune of

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$200,000 is in the works.

Marathon Development Group and the Wright Co, in concert with the Hourigan Construction Corporation and Rodriquez, Ripley, Maddux and Motley Architects, plan to restore the building by Fall of


The developer’s planned investment of $2.3 million hinges upon the city’s lease agreement up for consideration tonight. It’s stipulated in the contract before council tonight that the city would make ongoing annual contributions.

Restoring the Professional Building, consisting of 24,766 square-feet, has been considered a focal part of downtown revitalization initiatives, while this project has moved at a snail’s pace.

After changing hands several times, generating the necessary funds to adequately restore the antiquated building has been out of reach. But with the aid of a state historic landmarks designation and tax incentives, the project has finally taken off.

After relocating the school system to the Professional Building, plans call for demolishing the central office’s current home, which is oddly attached to the historic courthouse at the intersection of Main and Constance Road.

Suffolk City Council has a joint meeting with the School Board scheduled for 4 p.m. and its regular meeting starts at 7 p.m.