Joplin’s First Green Sustainable Historic Buildings: 200 Block Commons
A local developer is hoping to draw businesses to downtown Joplin through historic preservation. Jeff Neal and his wife Carolina previously restored The Columbian Building on Main street. And has moved his restoration effort to the 200 block of South Joplin Avenue. The multimillion dollar improvement will bring Joplin its first sustainable historic structures.
The building at 212 South Joplin has gone through some big changes to bring it back to its former glory. Once the Herbert Mortuary and then the old home to the Salvation Army for forty years, it was built in 1920.
Carolina joked, ” I called it the pigeon hotel from downtown cause all the pigeons were living here.”
Jeff Neal explained, ” This project was on the city demolition list for over seven years. The roof had entirely collapsed but if you look at it, it ‘ s got amazing bones and it ‘ s got a history that ‘ s worth saving. ”
But while maintaining its tile floors and some subway tile on the walls of a room, the Neal ‘ s are making the building sustainable. There are more than two hundred solar panels on the top of this building and the warehouse behind it. Just one aspect of making the project environmentally friendly.
Neal explained, “The buildings should be near net zero as far as operating costs as far as electrical. There ‘ s no gas. The buildings are super insulated. We’ve got ultra-efficient hvac with no ducts.”
They’re collecting rain water from the roof into barrels for use in the patio garden where benches were created from the old driveway ‘ s concrete. Carolina said, “One of the things we truly believe is the greenest building is the one already built. And these buildings are already here. All the materials already extracted from the ground and saving the planet means keeping what we have and reuse and recycle what we have.”
That is something important to Bart Paden with
Midwestern Interactive which will be one of the first tenants.
Paden said, “Super important for us. Having a green space. Having low energy costs, things like that. This was an opportunity to get behind something brand new that was old, which is really exciting.”
And it ‘ s good for downtown dwellers who once lived next to a dilapidated building. Lori Haun, director of the Downtown Joplin Alliance said, “When they’re just boarded up and they sit there, most people can ‘ t see the potential of a historic structure. When something gets renovated people can come in a see what they could do with the space.”
The Neals are also renovating a warehouse built in 1911 and next on their list is a purchase of the four buildings of Sugar Creek Designs. Bringing it to a two and a half million dollar investment into downtown.
The 200 Block Commons Project is now available for leasing.