Historic building in SODA district listed for roughly $2 million

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC)- A multi-acre property in the SODA district is now on the market, listed for roughly $2 million.

Back in 1929, the Abilene Northern Railway Company also known as the Burlington Depot once catered to the booming wholesale industry as Abilene acted as a transportation hub for distribution. But now, local broker John Hill is selling the old depot along with several acres of land and a nearby warehouse. The property was first zoned as an industrial area, but it now falls under mixed-use housing and retail.

“People are really interested in seeing this neighborhood re-purposed and brought into some of the things that have been brought in north of the tracks,” said Hill

The building has been in several hands since it went out of commission as a depot decades ago. Evidence of one owner is still in tact as he envisioned the building to be transformed into an Italian restaurant with panels splashed with red, green and white.

Joshua Black is the president of the Abilene Preservation League. Black said the depot’s mission/revival architectural style with terra cotta tile makes the structures still standing. Black said he hopes to ensure the building’s integrity especially considering its listing on the national register of historic places.

“The depot is an important part of our history,” said Black. “Normally buildings like this would be donated and we would restore them and turn them into more capable hands to preserve them. But, regardless of who takes the ownership of it, the APL and other organizations like it are ready to assist them in properly restoring the building”

City manager Robert Hanna agreed. Hanna also pointed there are a lot of issues to tackle to re-vamp the depot.

“So, if you go stick your nose through the window, you see the roof caving in,” Hanna said. “I mean in some point in time some things just aren’t salvageable without extreme cost. Whether grants are available I hope the person takes advantage of those grants, the state of Texas historical grants and receive some federal tax credits as well.”

Hanna adds the city will only handle public matters regarding the building including road development and utilities.

“This will be a private development,” said Hanna.

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