'Shopsteading' program used to preserve downtown Du Quoin - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

'Shopsteading' program used to preserve downtown Du Quoin

DU QUOIN, IL (KFVS) - In December 2014, Du Quoin city leaders began selling homes for $100 in an effort to preserve history and encourage people to move to the Perry County's city.

Now, the same law is being used to keep historic business properties in working condition.

City leaders have only just started the program, calling shopsteading. It works the same as homesteading  which got a lot of attention from interested buyers.

So far, three commercial buildings along Division Street will be sold for $100 or less to anyone willing to renovate the property.

Du Quoin Mayor Rex Duncan says the owner of the buildings can no longer afford to keep them, and this is a way to prevent them from falling apart.

“To expect those buildings to sit there for another 10 years unoccupied, un-renovated, they become more and more unsafe," Duncan said. "This keeps us from having more and more unsafe buildings or keeps us from having to tear the buildings down."

Last spring a building on Main Street collapsed in Du Quoin.

Mayor Duncan says that incident put some urgency to start the ‘Shopsteding' program.

He wants to find owners who will make good use of them, and keep them up to code.

The specifics of this program haven't yet been put on paper.

Mayor Duncan says he hopes it's as successful as the homestead version.

Already the city has received upwards of 30 offers.

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