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Annex building sale good news for Huntington

Oct. 06, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

It was a long time coming, but the sale of the old municipal annex building on 5th Avenue is good news.

The building, located two doors down from City Hall, was purchased in the late 1970s for $500,000 and used for extra office space for many years. At various times, it was home to the Huntington Sanitary Board, units of the Huntington Police Department, the Huntington Human Relations Commission, Municipal Court and the Tri-State Opportunities Industrialization Center.

But the building was damaged by fires over the years, and by 1999, all the offices were moved out. Over the next few years, the building was used to store old equipment and records, but break-ins became a problem, and it was boarded up in 2002.

In 2007, the city spent $131,677 in Community Development Block Grant funds to remove asbestos and spruce up the building in hopes of finding a buyer, but no offers came. In recent months, additional structural problems have developed.

So, when the Huntington Municipal Development Authority announced this week that it had found a buyer, it was cause for both a celebration and a commendation.

Developer Shane Radcliffe agreed to buy the annex for $100,000. He plans to tear it down and use the property for parking near the alley and retail space along 5th Avenue. Meanwhile, city inspector Scott Poston received a letter of recognition from HMDA for bringing the property to Radcliffe's attention.

In the end, it will be good to see a dilapidated downtown building eliminated and the property returned to a productive use.

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