Believe in Me Empowerment Corp. will finally get a shot at giving a three-story building in Newhallville a new lease on life.
During its bimonthly meeting at City Hall Thursday night, the Board of Alders approved a land disposition agreement that will allow the city’s anti-blight agency, the Livable City Initiative, to sell a building to 320 Shelton Ave. to the not-for-profit agency for $1,000.
Believe in Me has been seeking to buy two pieces of property in the city’s portfolio with hopes of providing more supportive housing and a youth center in the community. Plans for purchasing a vacant lot at 53 Shelton Ave. have stalled but the property at 320 Shelton Ave. cleared a major hurdle Thursday.
The property at 320 Shelton Ave. has been an eyesore for years and the city and neighbors to the building have been worried that it might fall down. But the agreement allows Believe in Me, once signed, allows the work that needs to be done to get the building stabilized, possibly before the first big snow.
The plan for 320 Shelton Ave. is to restore the building to its former glory, keeping two affordable residential units on the second and third floors. Believe in Me will expand its youth services programs that now run out of the organization’s 423 Dixwell Avenue headquarters to 320 Shelton Ave. and provide more job and entrepreneurial training for young people. Such a move allows Believe in Me to keep its adult service programs in one place and services for young people in another.
The agreement would give BIMEC 18 months after closing on the 320 Shelton Ave. deal to do the work on the property; otherwise, it would revert to the city.