Land bank demos in Hoopeston

The Dyer/Honeywell Mansion in Hoopeston is one of six residential structure demolitions to be completed by the land bank.

HOOPESTON — The Dyer Mansion, also known as the Honeywell Mansion, on East Honeywell Avenue in Hoopeston, a yellow-brick historic building that was destroyed in a fire in 2015 and can’t be rehabbed, is one of six demolitions to be completed by the Central Illinois Land Bank Authority starting next week.

The CILBA awarded a $78,500 contract to Lee Farms Excavating of Paxton to demolish six residential properties in Hoopeston over the next few weeks. The CIBA received five bids, with Lee Farms being the lowest.

The six properties being demolished: 320 and 322 Front St., 520 E. Honeywell St., 210 E. Washington St., 406 E. Thompson St. and 908 W. Washington St. Two of the properties were donated to the land bank, two were purchased from the county trustee and another two required nine months of legal work to obtain the property title.

According to Mike Davis, land bank executive director, the mansion on Honeywell Avenue and structures at 210 E. Washington St., 320 Front St. and 406 E. Thompson St. will be demolished starting next week. The remaining require asbestos abatement and will be demolished the following week.

This builds off the 12 demolitions that CILBA did throughout Vermilion County last fall — four of those properties being in Hoopeston.

The demolition work is being funded through a $125,000 Illinois Housing Development Authority Strong Communities Program grant, a $100,000 matching grant from the Hoopeston Retirement Village Foundation and a $50,000 match from the city of Hoopeston.

Bill Nicholls, a land bank and Hoopeston Retirement Village Foundation board member, said “the foundation was excited to provide matching funds on the state grant so CILBA could scale up their demolition work locally. This is a great example of collaboration where the land bank wrote that state grant for Hoopeston and that was matched by a local foundation and the city. The land bank has also been a great resource for technical and legal assistance that the smaller communities don’t have access to.”

CILBA is excited to have more than $250,000 to really move the needle on much needed demolitions in Hoopeston.

Kellie Ferrell, a Hoopeston City Council member, said “the land bank has been a great resource in tackling some eyesore properties that were top priorities for the city. We’re thrilled with this land bank partnership and excited to keep the work going. CILBA has already identified the next batch of four properties to be demolished.”

During the last two years, CILBA has raised more than $500,000 for demolition work throughout Vermilion County.

Besides the Hoopeston demolitions, the land bank also wrote grant applications for Georgetown, Rankin, Ridge Farm and Westville. Each community received a $45,000 grant from the IHDA’s Strong Communities Program that will be administered by the land bank.

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