JOPLIN, Mo. — A big piece of Joplin history could be getting a new lease on life.
That’s the hope driving a new partnership to bring the right project to Union Depot. It’s a deal combining forces among a local civic group, realtors, and the state.
The goal is a new life for an old building.
“Closed in 1969. That’s when the last train left the Depot and it’s been empty since then,” said Jill Sullivan, Endangered Prop. Prog.
And it’s not because there’s been no interest in the former Union Depot.
“In the 70’s, it was recommended to council that it’d be used as a History and Mineral Museum. That didn’t work out. There was another group in the 80’s that tried to preserve it and bring it back to life,” said Sullivan.
A new partnership is hoping a different approach will do the trick. Downtown Joplin Alliance announced it is teaming up with the Glenn Group and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to try and find a new use for the local landmark.
“For the 30-plus years, there’s been no marketing. The only people who’ve known about it is who some way or another figured out you know, were interested happen to drive by it, were interested and then happen to to get connected with the owners,” said Lori Haun, Downtown Joplin Alliance.
They’re using the “Endangered Properties Program” to highlight the Depot and help the right developer tackle the high profile remodel.
“Having the services of a certified commercial real-estate broker and brokerage company, we’re able to market this property on a national level, as well as to our local partners. It just gives them more of an opportunity to get it out in the public,” said Luke Gibson, Glenn Group.
The site covers three and a half acres with more than 22,000 square feet in the Depot itself.
There’s no timeline for the project – or price tag, although it’s likely well above $5,000,000.