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Ridgeway Hotel Approved by ADFA to Get $5.4 Million in Funding

December 21st, 2009 by

095MEDC president Benji Ryburn announced at the Monticello City Council meeting Thursday night that the Ridgeway Hotel project has been approved by the Arkansas Development Finance Authority to receive $5.4 million in funding.

The city agreed several months ago to provide up to $32,000 in sidewalk and lighting improvements to the area, which will house the Ridgeway’s 32 elderly, low income residential units.

The project is expect to have much better benefits from exchange tax credits, than have been available recently.

Ryburn received an e-mail shortly before the meeting, and expects all of the details to become official in a month, when the actual letter arrives.

The Drew County Housing Authority has agreed to provide gap funding, if needed, up to $500,000.

“The Ridgeway” was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in February.

MEDC Director Truman Hamilton welcomed that proclamation by adding that the Ridgeway Project could, “jumpstart the rehabilitation of Downtown Monticello.”

Monticello historian, Sheilla Lampkin added, “I’m thrilled that the property was recognized by the National Register, and look forward to the possibility of our goals being recognized with the building being used as a housing development,” and  added, “It would be wonderful to see life brought back into the old, historic building that was such a large part of Monticello life, at one time.”

The Ridgeway Hotel Historic District at 200-206 E. Gaines St. features three buildings constructed between 1912 and 1958.

“The Ridgeway Hotel, the Building at 202 East Gaines Street (Pool Hall) and the H. M. Wilson Building, collectively known as the RidgewayHotel Historic District, are significant for the district’s association with the commercial development of Monticello during the Great Depression,” the National Register nomination says. “The historic district is also a fine collection of early 20thCentury commercial buildings with Mediterranean, Italianate and Classical architectural influences.”

The Ridgeway Project when completed, will provide convienent house for elderly residents.

11 Responses to “Ridgeway Hotel Approved by ADFA to Get $5.4 Million in Funding”

  1. Debbie says:

    I hope that this indeed come through. One of the views from my house is the rear of the old hotel and it is depressing.

  2. skw says:

    Thanks to everyone who made this possible. As a child of the 50’s and 60’s, I remember dances being held at the Ridgeway and also some of the school clubs having banquets there.
    It will be great to see this bldg. restored, not only for it’s historical
    value but also for a facelift to that part of town.

    This is another subject, but I truly wish owners of SOME of the rental property in the North Main/Ross Ave/East Pope St. areas would care enough to give a “facelift” to some of their rent houses. Homeowners who live in that area would appreciate it. I’m sure the owners of these rent houses would not want such sights in their own neighborhood.

  3. Mike McKeown says:

    This funding for the Ridgeway program is wonderful for downtown Monticello. It will provide much needed housing for our elderly and in a location (mid-town) where there is a void of housing of this category. In addition, it will preserve the positive appearance of our downtown area for the pride of our residents and visitors passing through. We are blessed in downtown Monticello with the clean, well managed appearance of the businesses–this is a credit to the owners of downtown property for their civic pride. To really appreciate how pleasing our downtown area is, I would challenge anyone to visit others towns the size of Monticello and note the condition of their downtown area. We (citizens of Monticello) have much to be proud of.

  4. Polly Weir says:

    My grandfather, Jack Curry, owned the Ridgeway Hotel when I was a child. My brother, sister and I spent many happy summers roaming the halls and public spaces of what, was once, a beautiful property. I haven’t been to Monticello in over 30 years since my family is all gone but I am so happy that the building will be rescued and restored. Although the building will not be restored to its original granduer, affordable housing for seniors is a worthy, and I’m sure much needed, use. I hope to be able to visit Monticello again and to see the Ridgeway reincarnated!

  5. Jim Searcy says:

    Thanks for all you hard work Benji.

  6. phillips says:

    Wow! This is a bigger waiste of money than the splash pad. The best thing that could happend was have a local contractor tear it down and haul it to the county dump.

  7. Mrs.W says:

    SKW,

    ON YOUR OTHER SUBJECT, THERE ARE SEVERAL PLACES THAT NEED TO BE COMPLETELY DESTROYED. FOR INSTANCE, THE OLD CRACKER BOX BESIDE HOLMES CHAPEL CHURCH, THE OLD RAGGEDY BUILDING THAT WAS ONCE THE MONTICELLO SOCIAL CLUB AND EVEN THOUGH IT PROVIDES EMPLOYMENT FOR SOME, THE BOAT FACTORY ON THE EAST END IS THE UGLIEST, MOST DEPRESSING SIGHT EVER, SINCE WE ARE VOICING OPINIONS! BUT SINCE THEY ARE WHERE THEY ARE, NOBODY REALLY CARES.

  8. Zach says:

    It’s good that they’re restoring this building. It’s such a beautiful building, it would be depressing to see it torn down. There’s so much history in buildings such as this; history that would be lost should the building be torn down.

  9. wow says:

    Can we just get some red lights on the square instead!!!

  10. Old Friend says:

    In responce to phillips:
    The majority of the funds that will be used for this project are from government grants. If Monticello didn’t get these funds, they would more than likely have gone to build housing for illegals in NW Arkansas. I feel this is a great utilization of this money. It will greatly help the people who will get to reside in it. And based on the plans that I have seen for this project, it will look great. Great job Benji

  11. hobbitt says:

    On the one hand good. Rebuild an eyesore, make it useful, definitely the needs of the aging community need to be met. Construction always is good for communities.

    On the other hand, boondoggle? Much like the building that was built out of town.

    I am concerned that it will not get finished before the money runs out, then we will have an expensive, almost done eyesore.

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