Cape Girardeau councilman buys old federal courthouse, helps grow downtown

Cape Girardeau councilman buys old federal courthouse, helps grow downtown

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A local real estate investor has purchased the old federal courthouse in downtown Cape Girardeau.

City Councilman Joe Uzoaru confirms to Heartland News that he plans to turn the old courthouse into a single tenant or multi-tenant office space.

"It's a fantastic building and unfortunately it took a long time for someone in the community to get some interest in it and hopefully we can find some people who would like to use the building. I'd like to see the building full. Ideally, you'd have a single tenant," Uzoaru said. 

The purchase is welcome news to Callie Mouser of neighboring business Philanthropy.

"It'll be nice to see even more people get to know our business and the other businesses around," Mouser said.

According to the new owner, the building is in good enough condition that is won't need any rehabilitation. That's thanks largely to the property's real estate broker, Thomas Meyer. 

"You didn't see broken windows, you didn't see glass broken around, you didn't see grass five-feet high. It was maintained," Meyer said. 

Meyer is the broker for this building as well as other downtown properties.

"The downtown is in a cycle and it's on the upswing," Meyer said.

He's been in the business for 40 years. He says the future is bright.

"Just keep your eyes open," Meyer said. "You're going to see some major announcements downtown."

City officials say it's good to see growth.

"The private investments are coming along so we are happy to see that," City Manager Scott Meyer said.

Meyer says it's been about a year or so since the city finished the project to beautiful Broadway Street.

"We are still early on in reaping from those public investments," Meyer said.

It's a trend folks downtown say doesn't stop here.

"We have definitely thought about what it'll be like in the next five years, or the next ten years, and we hope it will continue growing and maybe ten years from now it'll be a booming historic downtown," Mouser said.

Uzoaru says he hopes to have tenants moved in by the end of the summer.

Uzoaru is a first-year council member who represents Ward 1 in Cape Girardeau.

A man from Texas bought the building in 2012 for $325,000 at a general services administration auction. It was listed at $1 million when it was put back on market in March of 2012.

In 2010, a pastor from St. Louis wanted to turn Cape Girardeau's old federal courthouse into a homeless shelter. A judge made a decision against the Reverend Larry Rice and his ministry in 2010.

The building was used in 2013 as a police department for the filming of the movie "Gone Girl."

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