Work underway in demolition of old R&M Food Market building

The future looks bright for a building that has been vacant in downtown Lafayette for quite some time. It's a story News 18 has been following since new owners purchased it.

Posted: Nov 23, 2018 10:07 PM
Updated: Nov 23, 2018 10:28 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)— The future looks bright for a building that has been vacant in downtown Lafayette for quite some time. It's a story News 18 has been following since new owners purchased it.

The old R&M Food Market building has been empty for quite some time, but a lot has been happening behind the scenes. 

Back in December the owners were given approval to tear it down by the Lafayette Historic Preservation. You can learn more about that process by clicking here.

Now, the barricades are up and the building is ready to come down.

"It's nice to have the fact that we are going to tear it down but I think the big picture is what's going to go back," said owner Tim Balensiefer. 

Balensiefer said the goal is to get more people to move to the east end of town. He believes that can be accomplished by creating what he likes to call an "East Village."

The new design still has to be approved by the historic preservation.

"We really don't want to design for 100 year old architecture so we would like to see that is what is current," said Balensiefer. 

As we reported back in January, his hope is to build a retail space on the bottom with apartments on top. But first, it has to come down and Balensiefer said getting to that point took a little time.

"We had to put together some estimates for what we are going to put back, we are still in that development stage of what is going to go back so right now we are just kind of following through with what we said we were going to do which is tearing that building down," Balensiefer said. 

He expects the entire building to be gone in about three weeks and added the space may sit empty for some time after that. We will continue to follow the progress of the project. 

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