Danville still interested in property near arena

DANVILLE — The owners of a downtown building that was demolished along West Main Street this week say the property has interest from buyers.

And one of those buyers could be the city of Danville, according to Mayor Scott Eisenhauer.

The property is immediately west of the new city-owned parking lot on the west side of the David S. Palmer Arena, 100 W. Main St., Danville.

In June 2010, protective fencing was placed around the front of the structurally unsound building when city officials were working with the owners, Curt Mielke and Steve Mielke, on a solution to the building's problems. The one-story brick building was mostly being used for storage by the Mielke brothers, whose business, the Bargain Barn, 230 W. Main St., is to the west. Curt Mielke said the structural issues had advanced to the point that they would be throwing good money after bad if they tried to repair it, so they decided to take it down.

In 2010, Eisenhauer said the city was interested in the property, because of its proximity to the arena and the riverfront. The property borders the Vermilion River to the south, and to the east is separated from the arena by just one piece of property, which is now a city-owned parking lot. In 2010, however, there was another building there that housed The River Barge Freight Co., whose owners were leasing it from the Janesky family. But a fire in December 2010 wiped out that building, which the city then took off the hands of the Janesky family at no cost and paid to demolish before turning the space into parking for the arena.

Curt Mielke would not reveal the identity of the interested buyers or what their intentions might be for the property, but Eisenhauer said Tuesday that the city is still interested in the site.

"Obviously we are interested in any of those properties along the West Main Street corridor, because of their proximity to the arena," he said. "Short term it allows us to expand parking, and we have made it no secret that our long-term desire is to see development beneficial to the arena and the community at large there."

Eisenhauer said there's potential for riverfront development and a hotel with a conference center that could tie into the arena.

"So those are all future opportunities that would exist, and it's been no secret that we are interested, but obviously we have a budget and would have to make sure that whatever offer we make is one that's reasonable," he said.

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