Wayside Christian Mission’s struggle to find a new home for its women’s shelter seems to be over. This week, the shelter purchased the 12-story building for $10 million in a foreclosure auction and plans to be operating in the facility by the end of the summer.
The building is in move-in condition and only a few changes are required for Wayside. Nina Moseley, Wayside’s COO, told the C-J that since the structure was a functioning hotel, it’s in great shape. Asbestos was found in the building and the heating and cooling system will apparently be replaced as part of the improvements.
Neighboring Jefferson Community & Technical College had hoped to purchase the building for campus expansion, but was unable to release funds without state approval. JCTC had planned to demolish the building, but now will look elsewhere in the vicinity for expansion. The C-J also says Sen. Tim Shaughnessy would like to use eminent domain to take the building for JCTC, but a JCTC official said they aren’t pursuing that option.
Because of the mostly commercial nature of the area, Wayside doesn’t expect much opposition to their expansion plans. Definitely not to the level of opposition of the Original Highlands to a proposed expansion at the old Mercy High School campus on East Broadway.
The current East Market Street shelter for women and families is being phased out after being purchased by a group of investors for $5 million last year. Wayside had planned to demolish three buildings to build a larger shelter at that location, rebuilding the facades into the new design. Several of the buildings have already been turned over to the new owners and are undergoing renovation.