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Pensacola mayor wants old Amtrak building to be leased out
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward wants to put a building that's been empty for several years on the rental market.
The old Amtrak building has been empty since 2005.
The railroad says they have no plans to resume passenger service in Northwest Florida.
And Mayor Hayward want's the property declared a "surplus."
It's now littered with graffiti. Since 2005, the old Amtrak building has been vacant.
Now, Mayor Ashton Hayward wants to lease the building.
Mayor Hayward is asking city council members to declare the old Amtrak property a surplus so it can be leased and help bring new business downtown.
"If the city can collect some tax money on it and get some rent moneys from it and put some businesses in it I want to see more things come downtown for sure," said Mike Celeskey.
Ann Bennett says she remembers riding the old Amtrak train. She believes the old station should be turned into a museum.
"It's a pretty old building and I like old architecture but the problem is people don't respect the integrity of the architecture. We are losing so much of that and that's kind of a shame," Bennett said.
The railroad says they have no plans to use the station for passenger service, but any lease would contain a clause ending the deal, if Amtrak changes plans.
Some don't agree with the clause.
"If someone decides they want to set up a business and they have a thriving place going then all of a sudden they could be put out because they they've changed their mind. I can't see how that's a win win situation for anybody."
Mayor Hayward wants this item on next week's agenda.