Meeting in special session Tuesday night, Benld city aldermen voted unanimously to sell a 50-by-80-foot parcel, including a small brick building, to Annette Pamela Allen, Shipman, for the sum of $8,000. The property, located at 300 East Central Avenue is commonly known as the Cordera property. The city acquired the parcel in September 2013 as a result of a nuisance action filed in Macoupin County Circuit Court in 2012.
Benld Mayor Jim Kelly told the BenGil Post that Allen plans to use the building to open an ice cream and hamburgers to go business. Allen currently operates a similar business in Shipman.
“She came to us and made an offer,” Kelly said. “We thought it was time for the city to get out of the real estate business, plus we get another business in town and some revenue. The more businesses we get into town, the better.”
Kelly said a special meeting was required because Allen wanted to close on the sale and get into the building before the council’s regularly scheduled August meeting.
The property is part of a larger parcel the city acquired through the court action. A derelict barn located south of the Cordera building was razed after the city secured ownership. Kelly said the remaining portion of the property probably will be developed as a parking lot to be used by Benld Public Library patrons.
Ald. Jim Tilashalski, Teresa Tucker, Peyton Bernot and Mickey Robinson attended the brief meeting in person. Ald. Brian Frensko and Lance Cooper participated by phone.
All six aldermen voted in favor of approving a resolution to sell the property on a motion by Ald. Tucker.
Kelly said the city had a prior proposal to dispose of the building, but that deal eventually “fell through.” In April 2016, the Cordera family offered to buy the building back from the city for $10,000 and lease it back to the city for a token fee, provided the city installed a plaque on the structure identifying it as the Cordera Building.
The building originally housed offices for the Cordera Trucking Co. More recently, it was the location for a barber shop. The building has been vacant for a number of years.