Century was the lowest of six bidders for the job, said Mayor Jack Reed Jr., who called the structure’s demolition a significant step in improving the area.
City Council members unanimously approved the bid and the contract. Funds for the work will come from a $600,000 capital projects budget reserved for neighborhood improvements.
Tupelo Public Works employees already started tearing down some of the property’s smaller buildings in early October, but the department doesn’t have the equipment needed to demolish the main structure – a two-story, brick building with asbestos.
That’s why the city hired Century, Reed said.
Once one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tupelo, the Trace Inn has sat vacant and deteriorating for years after its most recent owner – JSK Hospitality – filed bankruptcy amid financial woes and a series of code violations.
The city had purchased the property for $1 at a foreclosure sale in March.