BERKELEY, Mo. – Sometimes, you have to let go of the past in order to move forward. Members of the Berkeley community and government bid adieu to the old city hall with the commencement of demolition operations Monday morning.
“We’re here demolishing the old Berkeley city hall,” Berkeley City Manager Nathan Mai-Lombardo said. “It’s been sitting empty for 12 years, making room for new progress in the community.”
Plans have been in place for a new parking lot and landscaping at this location, off Airport and Hanley roads.
“I would like to see a grocery store and a sit-down restaurant,” Berkeley Mayor Babatunde Deinbo said. “When you think about Berkeley, we are in a very strategic position. We’re talking about (Interstates) 170, 270 and we’re close to the airport. Boeing is right there. Boeing is getting ready to do reconstruction on this side also.”
The former city hall closed in 2012 when the new location opened just down the road.
“This should be down in a couple weeks,” Mai-Lombardo said. “There’s some infill that needs to be brought in, but it should be clear and grass in a couple of weeks.”
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Civic leaders note that the demolition ceremony marks the beginning of a transformative journey for the Airport Road corridor.
New projects from Boeing also include mixed-use development, infrastructure enhancement, and job creation. Nearby Express Scripts, which had been shuttered, is set to become offices for Clayco.
Mayor Deinbo says the location will be called Madison Square and notes that momentum is on their side.
“More and more, this city is not broke. So, we welcome the new developments in Berkeley,” he said. “Any companies that want to come to Berkeley, bring it on. We’re ready; we’re good to go.”