The 1899 Masonic Temple building

GREG LOWER

A threatened historic Chanute landmark is being donated to the newly-formed Chanute Land Bank.

The land bank has received an application of donation for the 1899 Masonic Temple building in the 100 block of west Main and has begun paperwork for the transfer, Chanute Regional Development Authority Director Matt Godinez said.

The land bank received the application of donation last week from owner Carol Lisman and a title company is preparing a report, he said. 

When it is complete, the land bank board will hold a special meeting to approve its acceptance.

Godinez said they hope to close on the property by the end of April.

Deterioration of the structure drew attention in 2019 along with general concerns about historic buildings downtown. With assistance from Kansas Main Street, Main Street Chanute arranged for a structural engineer to assess the building’s condition last year and it was found to be structurally sound.

The land bank formed last year, and is in the process of renovating a one-bedroom residence at 909 N. Garfield that was its first donation.

Godinez said a budget has not been set for the renovation because officials are waiting on quotes from contractors. He said the house will be reasonably priced to move quickly and assist the city’s housing shortage.

The net revenue from the Garfield house will add to the already existing $150,000 the land bank got from a $300,000 Moderate Income Housing grant it split with the city. 

Godinez did not give an estimate on how much renovation would be needed for the Masonic building, but he said after the one-bedroom house the land bank is abolutely ready to take on the three-story building with multiple street-level commercial spaces. Godinez said the 1899 building goes directly into the land bank and the city vision of improvements for downtown.

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