The downtown building once occupied by Ben Franklin is getting an overhaul.
Acting on a resident's complaint about a dangerous overhang, city building inspector Dave Costa examined the building and discovered several problems. Along with the falling awning and an inadequate roof, water damaged the ceiling and the masonry in back was deteriorating.
The building, at the corner of Yampa Avenue and Sixth Street, hasn't been occupied for about three years, since Ben Franklin was closed because of the building's disrepair.
Costa sent the results of his inspection to an attorney who represents the trust that owns the building, stating that if the problems weren't fixed, the city would have them fixed and place a lien on the building for the cost of the repairs.
"It's not going to fall down, it just needs some attention," Costa said. "We surely don't want to take that building out of our inventory downtown."
Costa gave the management company 60 days to get started and said the deadline has been met. Work is beginning on some portions, and contractors are being sought for others.
The building is available for lease through American Northwest Reality and Realtor Georgina McAnally said there's been some interest in the 3,000-square-foot space. She also has had some inquiries about purchasing the space but has not determined whether the owners are interested in selling.
"It would be nice to have that filled," she said.
"It's a nice space."
She said nonprofit youth groups also have inquired about using the space but the $1,000 a month rental fee was prohibitive.
"I think it's a waste that no one's there," said Lisa Davis, owner of the Hair Shak, which is a few doors down from the vacant building. "It's just a real sad thing that no one can get anything in there."