COLUMBIA - A downtown Columbia restaurant auction ends Tuesday night. The Rome's owner, Cory Hodapp, wants to renovate his restaurant and add three floors. At a meeting Tuesday night, the Historic Preservation Commission will decide whether the building should be renovated or demolished.
The building is more than 100 years old. Hodapp hopes to avoid demolition and just add three floors above the restaurant.
"Our goal right now is to work with the city and find a solution to not have to tear it down," said Hodapp. "It's always been our goal to preserve it and restore it back the way it looked in 1905."
Hodapp wants to add three additional floors to the restaurant and turn them into residential spaces. For renovation, a restaurant owner has to submit a demolition permit, which is then sent to the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission for review. The commission then reviews several factors of the building to determine whether the building is safe for this kind of renovation.
"Historic preservation looks at multiple issues when they're considering a demolition permit," said Historic Preservation Commission member Paul Prevo. "One of those is the age of the building."
To begin renovations, Hodapp is auctioning off items. The auction runs through eight Tuesday night.
"The revenue from the auction will help us fund the projects we currently have," said Hodapp.
The projects include a gluten-free kitchen, or a wheat-free kitchen. The restaurant incorporated a gluten-free menu four years ago.
If you're interested in buying some of The Rome's items, visit the auction website at Top Shop Auctions.