One year after the Madras Redevelopment Commission approved the purchase of the old Masonic Lodge, it turns out that the purchase never took place, but a new owner is in the process of fixing up the crumbling building.
"They decided to accept a private offer," Nick Snead, director of the Madras Community Development Department, confirmed. Snead and the city's attorney had been working to acquire the property since January 2018.
When the MRC voted Oct. 10, 2018, to offer $25,000 for the building and property, pending "due diligence," the intent was to determine whether it would be cost-effective to remove the asbestos in the property and repair the roof, or whether it would make more sense to demolish the building.
An inspection of the concrete block building found asbestos in the floor tiles, joint compound, window glazing and roof membrane.
Last week, the new owner, Madras Properties LLC, had the leaky roof on the 67-year-old building replaced. The sale of the property had not yet been recorded in the Jefferson County Assessor's Office.
The two-story concrete block building, which had been home to the Madras Masonic Lodge 169 and Eastern Star for decades, was built in 1952. The 6,400-square-foot building sits on a 0.83-acre parcel, at 520 SE Fifth St.
According to Paul Sumner, a Mason, and the attorney who represents the group, the building "was built by the Masons in barn-raising fashion."
The Masonic Lodge originally acquired the property to build the lodge from the city, through a quitclaim deed signed by Mayor Adrian A. Smith on Nov. 8, 1949.
As of Oct. 7, the real market value of the building, which has crumbling, mint green exterior walls, is $181,510, but the maximum assessed value — on which the building is taxed — is $124,730.
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