From the Daily times
Settlement nears for Delmar's Lecates Building
DELMAR -- A nearly decadelong attempt to rehab an aging building in the downtown area of Delmar could soon be under way pending resolution.
Later this month, Chris Mills is scheduled to go to settlement to purchase the 119-year-old Lecates Building. The acquisition of the structure, which has sat vacant for more than two decades, has been in a holding pattern due to legal disputes.
"Everyone's been very helpful in the process and so far the legal process is complete," he said. "Everybody will be happy and I am excited by it to have everything behind us."
Past issues that have slowed down the legal process included questions about the ownership of an alleyway that was eventually settled by a lawsuit to quiet title claim and a review of the corporation name Mills formed that would buy the building.
Once the eventual cleaning and renovation is done, a refurbished Lecates Building
would be another part of the town's revitalization efforts, which have included a streetscape project on the Delaware side and the new town hall building on the Maryland side. Town Hall, which was completed last summer, directly faces the Lecates Building.
Town manager Sara Bynum-King said improving the building, which is located at the corner of State Street and North Pennsylvania Avenue, remains an essential part of downtown renovation efforts.
"Mr. Mills has assured us that he is still dedicated to his commitment to restore the building as soon as he has clear ownership of the property," she said. "It is our hope that we begin to see some cleanup activity on the property within the next couple of months."
Mills said despite the age of the building, he is confident in its sturdiness following an inspection after the 5.8 magnitude
earthquake that hit the East Coast in August 2011.
"This structure of the building is pretty unique," he said. "It survived a pretty big earthquake with the standards from the late 1800s. I went through it and not one brick fell down. Hopefully it has structural integrity."