Committee approves $50,000 loan for Dodd Building purchase

Sheryl Hart, helps customer Jared Rush from Mendon with his guitar as Rodney Hart stands by. The Harts, who own Second String Music in the old Mercantile Bank building, have applied for a $50,000 loan.
Posted: Sep. 17, 2013 6:37 pm Updated: Oct. 8, 2013 6:42 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Dodd Building, the original home of Mercantile Bank at 100 N. Fifth, is set to get a facelift and a new owner after the city of Quincy's Revolving Loan Committee approved a $50,000 loan Tuesday afternoon.

The building, owned by Prock Real Estate since 2001, is being sold to Rodney and Sheryl Hart, who own and operate Second String Music that currently occupies most of the first floor. The music store has been at the location since 2012.

The Harts plan to renovate the second and possibly the third floor of the building for commercial space.

Sheryl Hart said potential tenants include a law office and a cigar shop. One tenant, dance wear outlet Dancer's Dream, currently hosts space on the first floor.

"We'll fix the elevator, put in a new commercial door on the northwest side and a new set of stairs for fire code, plus repair the vestibules on the 505 (Maine) entrance," she said. "We'll do walls, (heating and air conditioning), ceilings, floors, plumbing, electrical for the commercial on the second and probably the third floor."

She said that it would likely be seven to 10 years before the fourth and fifth floors could be renovated for residential space, because fire sprinklers would have to be installed throughout the building.

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development for the city, said the largest cost besides installing the system is the quarterly rental of the fire metering device, which is used to pump high volume of water through the sprinkler system.

"The city pays for the meter up front," he said.

The loan has an interest rate of 3 percent with a 10-year payback plan. It is a participating loan, meaning it is included with a loan that is in financing from a bank.

The Harts could close on the property before the end of the month.

According to the Historic Quincy Business District's walking tour, the Dodd Building was designed by Quincy architect Ernest Wood and opened in 1897 and was the tallest building in the square for 30 years. Mercantile opened in the building in 1906.

After a fire damaged the building in 1924, the bank remodeled and expanded the building in 1924 with an identical five-story addition to the building. Mercantile remained in the building until 1960 until moving to its current location across the intersection at Fifth and Maine.