On Feb. 2, MDHA approved a Redevelopment Agreement for property located in the 200 block of Fourth Avenue North that included preservation of the historic Utopia and Embers buildings.

Subsequently, we have become aware that the developers believe it may be infeasible to preserve the Embers building. We have not had the opportunity to meet with the developer and hear what recent discovery has led to this proposed change of plans.

MDHA’s agreement to fund any portion of this project has been and continues to be predicated on the fact that both the Utopia and the Embers building will be preserved. The only plans we have reviewed show these building to be preserved. Demolition of the Embers building would be in violation of the development agreement and would terminate our commitment to assist in funding the project.

We hope that further exploration into the physical condition of the Embers building will show a path towards its preservation.