Time is of the Essence for Kozy Bar and Apartments

By KBJR News 1

May 29, 2013 Updated May 29, 2013 at 10:25 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - There has been some disagreement over what to do with the Kozy Bar and Apartment complex in Duluth, and planners say they may be running out of time to restore the severely fire damaged building.

The boarded up, empty building has been called an eyesore since two separate fires caused substantial damage two years ago.

Retired Duluth city planner Mike Conlan has partnered with building owner Eric Ringsred to develop a plan to restore the building with 40 low income apartments.

However, Mayor Don Ness says he would like to see the building turned into housing that would attract young professionals, something he says the city really needs.

But he says whatever happens needs to happen soon.

He says experts say the building is deteriorating quickly and probably can't withstand another winter without preservation work beginning almost immediately.

"I believe that going the market rate rout, with going at it with different tools will allow construction to happen sooner and will be able to shore up the building prior to this next winter," said Ness.

Meanwhile Kozy developers are continuing to try to get low income tax credits to fund their plan for renovation.

Application for the tax credits are due June 18 and they won't know if they qualify for the funding until November.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson