Historic downtown buildings on the chopping block

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 10:58 PM CDT
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TRUMANN, Ark. (KAIT) - The old Bank of Trumann building has been a downtown landmark for more than 50 years. But now the city plans to condemn the building.

“Condemnation seems like the easy way out, and it is a lot easier to just tear down a building than it is to explore the ability to renovate it and keep it around,” said Heather Shrader, a Trumann resident.

Razing buildings is a long and drawn-out process that could take months or even years.

“You know it costs us to go through a condemnation process, but then the taking down of the property is an owner’s expense,” said Mayor Barbara Lewallen.

Many of the downtown businesses left decades ago.

“Downtown Trumann is basically a ghost town,” Shrader said. “There has not been anything going here for a very long time.”

The railroad once helped bring many jobs to Trumann, but now it cuts downtown off from truckers.

“You have to go either under the railroad tracks or over the railroad tracks, so large trucks can’t get over under,” Lewallen said.

Shrader says there is still hope for the area.

“Like Main Street Arkansas, Trumann becoming a Main Street affiliate could really open up opportunities for funding and revitalization in their downtown area,” Shrader said.

Shrader is very excited about the future of downtown Trumann.

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