Redevelopment gearing up for Jefferson City’s Millbottom area

Redevelopment of the former Ameren power plant in Jefferson City’s Millbottom area is nearing completion, with its first retail tenant under contract, after several years in the works.

The building, located at 400 W. Main St. just west of the Capitol, dates back at least to the early 1900s and operated as a manufactured gas plant for Ameren — and power plant for the Missouri Power and Light Co. and Jefferson City Light, Heat and Power Company before that — until the mid-1980s.

“The Millbottom is where it all started for Jefferson City,” said Ron Dawson, managing partner of the Mill Bottom, LLC, development team. “This is the last standing building.”

Dawson purchased the then-unused property from Jefferson City in 2012 for $1 after three years of project planning, rezoning and other negotiations necessary for repurposing the existing structures.

Now, after disassembling and removing the boilers, pouring new floors, abating asbestos, and installing new windows, HVAC, plumbing and — soon — a new roof, Dawson and partners Dick Otke, Jason Otke and Gary Oberkrom foresee a project completion date of no later than April 2015.

“The only thing that won’t be new will be the brick and the structure itself,” Oberkrom said. “There’s nothing that’s not been touched.”

The development’s first retail tenant, Red Wheel Bike Shop, should be moved in by the beginning of next year.