Downtown Plans Proceed

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The city of Meridian passed a resolution to begin the process of acquiring property through eminent domain proceedings that is now the site of Brown Printing Company at 617 23rd Avenue in the next block from City Hall.

City officials have indicated for some time they wanted that building in order to level it and create an open look from the front of City Hall.

The city intends to create a downtown park at 23rd and 24th Avenues and 6th and 7th Streets.

Since the council's vote was unanimous, the city can take possession of the property as soon as the necessary legal papers are filed with the court.

Brown Printing has apparently found a new location and will remain in business.

Mayor John Robert Smith said the Threefoot Building project is still being negotiated.

"We're trying to see that the Threefoot project becomes an upscale lodging facility with a large public community space that would basically replace the Frank Cochran Center in use," Smith said.

He said the proposal is it would be a combination banquet and ballroom that would seat 1,000 people and would augment The Riley Center when a conference calls for an event of that type.

The plan is to demolish an old, unused parking garage on 23rd Avenue across from the back side of the Threefoot Building.