Under new ownership

Saturday, September 18, 2021
Before white stucco was added to the exterior of the First National Bank building, the large downtown structure featured Carthage stone that complemented the historic aesthetic of many downtown businesses. File photo/The Monett Times

First National Bank Building getting renovations

One downtown building in Monett is getting a facelift after a recent purchase by BH Broadway Properties LLC.

The U.S. National Bank Building, also known as the First National Bank, is the former home of Life 360 on Broadway.

The First National Bank Building at 322 Broadway has been purchased by BH Broadway Properties, LLC with the promise that it will be returned to its original state. Mike Gervais/mgnews@monett-times.com

The building had been owned by Monett Main Street for the past three years. Monett Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and Monett Main Street board member Jeff Meredith said Monett Main Street purchased the building with hopes and plans to have the white stucco facade removed so the building could be returned to its original state.

Thad Hood and Bob Berger, the two members of the BH Broadway LLC., said there are no definite plans for the building once the renovations and repairs are complete, but they hope to see a new business come to Monett’s downtown corridor.

“We’ve had four false starts on this building,” Hood said. “The biggest one was the library not taking over this building when it was offered. We had plans to move the school district offices in, someone who wanted to open a restaurant here and we had Life 360 here.”

During that time, the building has been through some wear and tear.

Berger said the building’s roof leaks and windows may need to be repaired before the Broadway building can be inhabited.

Berger said, while there are no concrete plans for the building, he does have a dream.

“We would love to see a nice sit-down restaurant come in here,” he said.

Hood said his company, HHR Contractors, has been hired to complete the work on the First National Bank Building.

Hood said the renovation work should be completed by Jan. 1, 2022.

“Once we get started, we don’t want to be waiting too long.”

He and Berger both agreed that there is a lot of community interest in the renovation and habitation of the building.

“We have had a lot of locals reach out and express an interest in investing,” Berger said.

He added that the first move will be to complete the construction on the building, and from there, the LLC will begin entertaining options for the building.

Monett Main Street, a nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing and promoting downtown Monett, purchased the building in 2018, shortly after the construction of Monett’s downtown park.

Meredith said Main Street took possession of the building in part to see it restored to its original state, which will fit with the aesthetic of other buildings on Broadway.

“It needs some work,” Meredith said. “We wanted to control it because it’s a large building and it had been for sale for a long time and we wanted to make sure that it would be an asset that is exposed for its natural beauty.”

Meredith also said that beneath the stucco facade, the building is constructed of Carthage stone.

Hood said the stucco that covers the building is affixed to a mesh that can be removed without causing any further damage to the building.

Once the stucco is removed, Hood said HHR will evaluate other work that needs to be done and continue improvements until the building is inhabitable.

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