Laramie County Commissioners Approve Grant for Carey Building
A building that has set vacant in downtown Cheyenne since the 50's may soon thrive again.
Laramie County Commissioners, Tuesday afternoon, approved a $3 million Business Ready Community Downtown Development Grant application by the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority to acquire the Carey Building located at 308 West 17th Street for development.
"Removing the blight from the downtown is the first and foremost goal," said Amy Surdam, Executive Director of the DDA. "This building is at a huge risk of collapse, being ignited and set on fire or harming somebody in someway if there was someone that was squatting inside of it."
Commissioner Troy Thompson says he's remarkably excited about the project.
"You think about having this building that has been sitting there vacant now having an exciting future," said Thompson. "It's so exciting to see somebody come in and say we've got to do something, we're going to work on this, we're going to try to get this blight taken care of."
Surdam says the current owner of the building, Azurelite Inc. of Los Angeles, California, wants to partner with the DDA to save the historic building.
"Through time they've realized they just cannot financially do that with as much detriment and damage that has happened with the structure," said Surdam. "The role of the DDA is to get the site ready for development, so we would be cushioning that cost."
Surdam says the developer plans to put commercial space on the first floor of the building and turn the upper floors into much needed housing.
"We (the developer) would completely gut the inside of the building down to the structure and make that residential with commercial on the first floor," said Surdam. "And if we completely demolish the building, same principal."
Surdam says the second goal is to start putting life back into downtown Cheyenne.
"It's time to create a downtown that's thriving, not just merely surviving," said Surdam. "The only way we can accomplish that is by putting life, literally, into some of these large, vacant buildings."