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Bud is taken off demolition list for now

Date: 7/26/2011

July 27, 2011

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE — Members of the Holyoke Historical Commission are moving forward to develop a plan that would save The Bud, the former tavern and restaurant near City Hall.

Olivia Mausel, chair of the commission, told Reminder Publications Mayor Elaine Pluta has taken the structure off the demolition list in order to see if a plan to save the building could be developed. The city’s Office of Community Development had slated the building for destruction.

The commission is also working with James Hendricks, the owner of the property, to address the $300,000 in back property taxes he owes the city.

Mausel admitted that saving The Bud is a “kind of polarizing issue.” She said members of the City Council have stated they want to see the taxes paid and any arrangement would have to be approved by them.

She said about half of the amount could be forgiven.

Mausel believes that if the tax issue could be resolved, a developer for the three-story brick building could be found. Saving the building could happen with a development plan in place and funding for it set aside.

One of the issues that makes redevelopment of the building more difficult is that the city doesn’t own the building. Mausel said the owner could give it to the commission that could then hold the building for a developer.

Part of the developer’s plan must include ways to stabilize the building so further damage doesn’t take place. The Bud’s roof has caved in and there is structural damage to the south wall, Mausel said. A tarp over the roof wouldn’t probably last through the winter, she noted and permanent repairs would probably cost between $40,000 and $60,000 for the roof and less than $100,000 for the wall repairs.

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