Mountain Association to renovate downtown Hazard building, hold public meeting

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Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 3:51 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2023 at 11:18 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - The Mountain Association is hoping to aid in the revitalization of downtown Hazard by redeveloping a large building on Main Street.

The group purchased the 11,000 square-foot building located at 479 Main Street last summer.

“This building was empty for seven years, and we asked the question, how can we bring these back into use,” said Peter Hille, President of the Mountain Assocation.

On Wednesday, there was a community meeting to discuss the redevelopment and the ongoing revitalization of downtown Hazard.

“What’s going to be important for communities is to recreate themselves where people can live, and will choose to live and if we’re sucsessful with that, people will bring their jobs with them,” said Hille.

Hille says they are excited for the future of the building.

“Of course we want to have some office space for the Mountain Association,” he said. “We also think commercial space, maybe restaurant space, possible some residential space on the upper floors.”

In a post on Facebook, Mountain Association officials said they will spend the next few years redeveloping the building.

The building, which was formerly a First Federal Bank, has been empty since 2016 and is in need of major repair and overhaul.

Officials have tapped the architecture group ‘Deco Architects’ out of Somerset to lead the design work.

“There’s a couple different ways to design, one is top down, where we say hey here’s what everyone is going to get, we’ve come up with this, and the other is bottom up. There’s a lot of community focus, a lot of feedback,” said Derek Phillips with Deco Architects.

Officials are asking for public suggestion, specifically regarding what they should do with the banks former vault door.

“If we have a restaurant here, maybe it will be featured in the restaurant. Maybe the ‘vault room’ will be where you can go to have your next special event,” said Hille.