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Final Public Meeting To Decide Fate of Century-Old Broadway Theater: Demolition or Redevelopment

Jasmine Jones

The near-century-old historic Broadway Theatre building may be set for demolition, and a public hearing is set to determine its final fate.

Several local community members spoke in favor of saving the structure at a recent Cape Girardeau City Council meeting, on April 17th.

On May 1st, the Cape Girardeau City Council will take a final vote to either condemn and seek demolition contracts for the structure, or through a delayed grant from the City of Cape Girardeau, renovate the structure for alternative uses.

The City Council voted on Mon. April 17th, on when to hold the public hearing. At that meeting, several local community members and the possible future developer spoke in favor of the building.

Developer and owner of Todt Roofing and Construction, Brennon Todt, talked about how the project is expected to go. He expected it to take a short period of time to stop the ongoing damage currently affecting the structure. After preserving the still-standing elements, he expected phase one of the project to take approximately 1 year.

Phase one is slated to include a plan for the structure with a Cafe space in the main space, 2 small-footprint retail spaces, loft-style apartments, and possible future development of the basement space.

"My plan would be to stabilize the building, somewhere between 60 and 90 days, and then immediately work toward completing phase one of the building. Which would be completed in about 12 months", said Brennon Todt of Todt Roofing & Construction.

In an argument made by Coordinator for Historic Preservation at Southeast Missouri State University, Dr. Steven Hoffman illustrated the possible benefits associated with saving the building instead of demolition.

"It's roughly, $150,000 to repair the building, as opposed to 300,000 to 500,000 to demolish it. The repair will be completed more quickly than demolition could occur. It will result in a building that will generate income for the city for years to come", said Hoffman.

Executive Director of Old Town Cape, Liz Haynes also spoke in favor of redevelopment, and what this project means for the people of Cape Girardeau.

"We have been working diligently with the city staff to create a redevelopment agreement that would allow for the repair, rather than demolition of the Broadway Theatre. And we are fully prepared to present this proposal at the public hearing. We are ready and, we are excited to move forward", said Haynes.

Thefinal public meeting for the Broadway Theatre is scheduled for May 1st, 2023.

Senior, Historic Preservation Major and the Vice President of Historic Preservation Association