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A buyer has been found for the former home of the Paris Police Department.
“The bidder intends to demolish the existing structures and build a new retail structure on this site,” city manager John Godwin said.
The building has been vacant since the police department moved in April 2006 to its present quarters on Clarksville Avenue east of South Collegiate Drive.
In recent months, the council on several occasions discussed possible uses of the building, including using it for a number of non-profit agencies and, most recently, as the new home of the Paris/Lamar County Health Department.
The consensus was that it would cost more to renovate the building than to replace it.
Before undertaking demolition, the City of Paris decided to advertise the property for sale.
In a memo included in council member’s agenda packet for the council meeting earlier this week, Godwin said the single bid received was opened and read aloud at 3 p.m. on Monday March 4. The bid “exceeds our best available estimate of the market value,” the manager said.
The proposed sale of the building to the Chicago group was unanimously approved by the council Monday as one of nine items on the “Consent Agenda” – a packet of items approved routinely with one motion and generally without discussion.
According to a submitted Letter of Intent, the purchaser has 120 days following execution of a contract to inspect the site and all property information, plus two 30-day extensions.
“Closing is to occur 30 days after the inspection period,” Godwin said.
by CHARLES RICHARDS
Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.
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