In November, when the dilapidated Koury Company building on Chatham Street was subjected to a large scale cleanup effort, we asked if revitalization could be on tap for the blighted property.
The answer appears to be yes.
Built in 1949 and formerly home to a textile plant, the decades-empty structure was at one point in the mid-2000s considered as a site for new county offices, a plan which never came to fruition. In the years since, it’s been the subject of numerous complaints due to its state of disrepair and use as location for criminal activity. In addition to falling into significant disrepair, the outside of the 168,000-square-foot building had become significantly overgrown with brush.
So overgrown, in fact, that environmental studies necessary to prepare the building for sale couldn’t be done. That was per Sanford Mayor Chet Mann, who told the Rant in November that the city had been informed that the effort was undertaken in hopes of getting the property ready to change hands.
On December 21, that sale took place. A document on file at the Lee County Register of Deeds indicates that Florida-based owner R. Scott Page transferred the property to a nonprofit corporation called Koury for the Community Inc.
Koury for the Community was formed by Ken Cronch, who owns Industrial Construction Experts in Sanford. He predicted a multi-year process for rehabbing and repurposing the building for a number of uses.
“This property is going to involve a shelter, a place to provide hot meals to those in need. We also intend to operate a business out of the building to provide jobs for the community. It’s going to be a building for community uses. We want to give back to the community,” Cronch said.
Look at some pictures of the building before and after its recent cleanup below: