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Heritage

Heritage Foundation announces winning bid for 312 E. Adams

BY CATHERINE O’CONNOR

Exciting new plans will soon be taking shape at 312 E. Adams St., a three-story building that was donated to the Downtown Springfield Heritage Foundation late last year by the previous owner, Gerry Hughes. The Foundation has just announced that Martin Haxel and his wife, Laurie, were the winning bidders, responding to an RFP which involved demonstrating financial ability to purchase and begin renovations within a year and a sound business plan for a project that will enhance the existing environment in Springfield’s downtown.

The Foundation used an RFP process to solicit proposals, which required a minimum bid of $30,000, but also awarded points to bidders that showed the ability to execute a well-defined plan for the historic building on East Adams, which is located between Third and Fourth streets.

The Haxels, who already own the section of the block next door at 310 E. Adams St., will now have access to an additional 5000 square feet of space in the adjoining building, a portion of which will be used to expand Haxel Law Offices. In addition, Laurie Haxel operates a biotech consulting business out of the current building.

According to Laurie, "We had tried to purchase the building a few years ago, but the time was just not right." Because their expansion needs will only require about half the ground floor of the new space, they are currently in the early stages of planning uses for the additional two upper floors.

Built in 1912, the building parcels that make up the 300 block of East Adams were constructed as traditional, elongated, tunnel-like, mirrored sections. From above, they look like a set of four identical twin sections, every two sharing a roof skylight that originally worked as an ingenious way to bring natural lighting into the inner corridors of the upper floors.

Various sections of the block, which now houses a barbershop and real estate office, have been formerly occupied by commercial and retail companies throughout the years, including Illini Blueprint, a religious group and Illinois National Bank, with a portion of the building damaged by fire in the mid-1970s.

The Haxels say they appreciate the design potential of the building, with its unique lightwell, brick and wood architectural features and are pleased to be part of the vibrant downtown scene, where plans are taking shape for a new hotel to be built across the street from their office.

According to attorney Martin Haxel, his firm is thriving downtown. "We are not going anywhere," he said. He added they are open to ideas for use of the upper floors of their new space.

Scott Troehler, president of the Heritage Foundation, said he hopes that the group will be able to help facilitate other redevelopment projects. The Heritage Foundation can also provide information about other incentives that may be available for redevelopers, including TIF funding through the City of Springfield and federal tax incentives that can be used by an owner who renovates the building per specific Secretary of the Interior guidelines.

"As a tax-exempt nonprofit, we accept donations of real estate in downtown Springfield with the intention of facilitating the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings," he explained.

Catherine O’Connor retired from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency in 2015 and enjoys seeing the revitalization of historic buildings in Springfield.


Firefighter

ANOTHER IMPORTANT VICTORY FOR FIREFIGHTERS AND EMT'S

Haxel Law secured another important victory for firefighter health this week.

A few months after winning a trial for a retired Springfield firefighter, Haxel Law has just successfully represented a current Springfield firefighter in another trial, this one awarding workers' compensation benefits for cancer. Just as in the prior hearing loss case, the most recent trial resulted in a finding that the firefighter's job was presumed to be a cause of his cancer. This ruling may make it easier for firefighters, paramedics and EMTs to obtain workers' compensation benefits for developing cancer.

More and more research points to an association between these first-responder jobs and developing several types of cancer. The law presumes that if an EMT, paramedic or firefighter has worked in that job for five or more years cancer, hernias, heart disease, any disease caused by a blood-borne pathogen, as well as some other illnesses, are related to their job duties.

If you or someone you know may be suffering from one of these medical conditions, call Haxel Law to discuss your rights and let us assist you in obtaining benefits that the law provides. It never hurts to ask. Call for a free consultation.

Read more check out our Workers Compensation page.


ATTENTION: FIREFIGHTERS, PARAMEDICS AND EMTs

Haxel Law secured an important victory for firefighter health this week.

Firefighters, paramedics and EMTs frequently suffer from hearing loss for obvious reasons. Insurance companies often try to deny hearing-related workers' compensation claims and proving entitlement to benefits can be very difficult.

In Sangamon County this week, attorney Martin Haxel won a worker's compensation trial on behalf of a Springfield firefighter who suffered hearing loss after more than 20 years on the job. This ruling could make it easier for firefighters across the state to receive compensation for their work-related hearing damage in a courtroom trial or during settlement negotiations.

This decision may be precedent-setting because it analyzes a change in Illinois law. Firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs, who have worked for five or more years, and who suffer from hearing loss, cancer, hernias, heart disease, any disease caused by blood-borne pathogens and some other illnesses, are presumed to be entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

If you know a firefighter, paramedic or EMT who has suffered from one of these medical conditions, have them call Haxel Law at 217-544-6275 for a free consultation. It never hurts to find out if you could be entitled to benefits.

Haxel Law Nominated

Haxel Law is honored to be nominated as one of nine New and Emerging Small Business Owners of the Year by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of the 33rd Annual Small Business Owner Awards’ popular and prestigious event is to honor people whose ingenuity, hard work and innovation have created and promoted a successful and growing business in the Springfield area. This year’s Awards Banquet was held  Tuesday, June 19 at the Crowne Plaza Springfield. Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees.

Haxel Law Small Business Awards

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