Sebastian Chamber to get more time to renovate building

SEBASTIAN – The Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce will be allowed to remain at its current site under an extended lease, despite the lack of promised renovations to the property.

The Sebastian City Council unanimously supported giving the Chamber more time to fulfill its obligation due to the depressed economy.

“Hopefully, things will get better,” City Manager Al Minner said during his recommendation to the council to extend the lease.

The Chamber had until this year to have the renovations permitted and another two years after that to get the construction done. If completed as planned, the Chamber would have received a 50-year lease from the city for the property at Main Street and US 1.

The Chamber now has until Jan. 22, 2015, to have its renovations permitted and two years later to be built, under the terms of the modified lease.

Part of the Chamber’s plans for renovations include “Pelican Porch” – a wraparound porch that would offer pedestrians a place to sit and take in the scenery while learning more about what Sebastian has to offer.

“We all still love the concept,” Chamber Executive Director Beth Mitchell told earlier this year.

Chamber members have been working up the plans since 2006, but with the slumping economy, the Chamber hasn’t felt comfortable launching its fund-raising campaign.

Pelican Porch is expected to cost $170,000.

The Chamber also needs a new roof, which is expected to take the overall renovation project’s cost to between $400,000 and $600,000, according to estimates from Capp Custom Builders, in Sebastian.

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