Burdette Building Renovations
By Bob Bennett
I enjoyed reading your article on the renovation of the Burdette Building, but you may wish to step back and look at this topic in a different light.
As you stated, this building has always been a pleasant place to visit. A gathering place for people of all ages. Anyone that was raised in this area has been in the Burdette Building at some stage in their life. From a locally owned hardware store, to a Piano store, a Consignment shop, an Antique shop, a retail dress shop, a Gift shop, a Cabinet shop, a Gold and coin dealer, a Restaurant, and more, this building has seen it all. The one thing all these businesses had in common is that they were made up of hometown people who had a dream to serve their neighbors and surrounding communities.
As I pass by the Burdette building these days, I wonder if our community knows what is happening to this wonderful landmark. Let me share some facts about what is really happening.
1. First, this is a historic landmark and is on the historic registry. That should be enough to protect the integrity of this building. I noticed just today that some exterior walls have been torn down to accommodate new plans. If they can do that, what is it they cannot do?
2. I have been told by a reliable source that the new owners have pushed tenants into paying property taxes on their lease or given the option to leave. Also, they have been made responsible for the upkeep of the building up to a certain amount. A building that they do not own.
3. I have also been told by a reliable source that if they chose to stay, their rent will be increased 5-fold per square feet. These prices are not in alignment with other
properties in this area.
4. We love the shops that occupy this building and hate to think that they are being run out or held ransom that they cannot afford. These shop owners have all had the spirit that you talked about in your article.
5. By the way, I hope you like very expensive pizza and $5.00 or more cups of coffee because that is what you will be getting. Also, I can assure you that alcohol will be abundantly sold on these premises. That’s all we need, more drunk drivers on our city streets. The only businesses that can afford this property will be restaurants that serve liquor, and lots of it.