SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A bill heard before Springfield City Council Monday night, if passed, would deem the Hotel of Terror ‘Eminent Domain’, after talks between the city and its owner.
The city and the owner had been back and forth for years about the price.
“For each offer we’ve made, we’ve hired an independent appraiser to appraise the value of the property. Each of those we’ve had it reviewed by a second independent appraiser, and that’s because federal funds are involved.” Chris Dunnaway, principal engineer for Public Works said. “There’s a certain process that they must follow, including getting appraisals and getting them reviewed. We feel like what we’ve offered is, is fair market value.”
However, owner Sterling Mathis says the value part of the offer isn’t fair at all.
“They’re not even at 50% of what it would cost me to renovate my other property and move it over there,” said Mathis.
The negotiations center around the Main Avenue bridge, which will eventually be part of the ‘Renew Jordan Creek Project.’
“If you look at that photo or just go out there, you can see the hotel is literally right next to the channel, it’s going to have to be expanded to the north,” Dunnaway said.
“You can see over my shoulder there’s a vacant lot just to the south of my building. Looks like they could go that way if they wanted to extend it, widen it that way,” Mathis said.
He says he’s asking for more money to ensure a safe move for the building built in the early 1900s.
“I have no problem moving it, but the problem is, the haunt is the building. The building is part of the haunt,” Mathis said. “You know, it’s built into it.”
Mathis said he needs at least five times what the initial offer was to move, an offer of $200,000 from 2019.
“Just to get the building over there where I could take it would be about $1,000,000 is what it would be, and the city’s architect told me that was $1,000,000 project,” Mathis said.
“They’ve been there a long time. I’m sure he’s got a lot of sweat equity in it. I can definitely appreciate that.” Dunnaway said. “At the same time, I think the city has a responsibility to be fiscally responsible with the taxpayer dollars.”
Mathis said he’s not backing down.
“I’ll go it as far as I need to go to get, you know, what needs to happen. Call your councilman, call the mayor and tell them what you think.” Mathis added.
City council will vote on the bill on February 21.