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Salvation Army commended for revitalizing property

Added on Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Rochester Salvation Army and a group who helped to revitalize a problem property at the corner of Center Street and First Avenue were recently commended for their efforts.

The Civic Inn, a low cost, long-term stay hotel,  had became more known for its police calls and troublesome tenants than its accommodations. Neighbors say it got to the point where narcotic sales and criminal activity were the norm in the area.

“The building is right next door to us,” explained Major Jim Frye, Rochester Salvation Army administrator. “We could see all kinds of illegal things happening on the block.”Rochester Salvation Army Major Jim Frye

Due to the rising crime in the area, the Rochester Police Department worked with The Salvation Army and the owners of The Inn to implement a plan to reduce criminal activity.

This was perfect timing for Andy and Kari Friederichs who purchased it in 2013, with the intent of turning it around. The plan was to rehab, remodel and improve the reputation of the 96-year-old building. Tenants moved out and construction workers moved in.

“We helped to relocate people when the hotel closed,” said Major Frye. “The city and county helped us and the hotel was remodeled to make it a safer place to live.”

The Friedrichs invested seven months and $700,000 into the renovation and renamed The Inn, “The Parker” – which was its original name. The result is a rebirth.

While tenants still rent month-to-month, the target market for renters is now a mixture of students, patients at Mayo and those looking for short-term housing. Cameras are everywhere, safety and security are top priorities.

“Our action plan with law enforcement included a closer watch on things, police also routinely visited during our lunch hour which is our busy time, and if anything was amiss officers would follow-up,” explained Major Frye.

The Friederichs were honored with a citizen commendation award for their vision and dedication in transforming the building. Three Salvation Army employees were honored with citizen certificates of appreciation, too. They are Major Frye, social worker Brad Erath and business manager Doug Coop.

“It was great for us and to know we can help others and make our building and surrounding area a safe place to get service and visit,” said Frye.

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