Homewood trustees took a preliminary step on Tuesday, Jan. 10, toward selling the building at 2066 Ridge Road.
A new developer has proposed to purchase and redevelop the property after an initial offer from Third Coast Developers did not work out, according to Village Manager Napoleon Haney.
The board approved a measure to advertise for alternative proposals.
The deadline for submitting alternate proposals is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Any alternate bids received by then will be presented to the board at the meeting that night.
If no other developers submit proposals, GMA Capital plans to purchase the property and construct a 54,680-square-foot building with 55 residential units and four commercial units, including a restaurant, grocery store, sweet shop and meat shop.
The site at the northeast corner of Ridge Road and Harwood Avenue is near the Homewood train station, and the GMA’s plan fits the village’s goal of promoting transit-oriented development downtown, Haney said.
The village purchased the building last year with the intent of finding a buyer to redevelop the site.
After the village purchased the building, Homewood resident Nancy Gildart alerted the village to the possible historical significance of the structure. The location is the site of Mueller’s tavern, a distinctive two-story brick building with a turret when it was built in 1891.
The tavern was extensively remodeled in 1965, according to local historian Jim Wright. The turret and second floor were removed and the building was converted to office space.
In December, the village commissioned an architectural and structural assessment of the building to see if additional stories could be added, but “the conclusion of the study was that the existing building could not structurally support additional stories and that demolition of the building would be the most cost-effective option,” Haney said.
The redevelopment project would return the property to the tax rolls and help continue the revitalization of the downtown area, he said.