A property that has long sat empty and in disrepair in downtown Fort Smith has a new owner — and a plan for improvement.
The former Goins Furniture building at 900-902 Garrison Ave. was acquired in May by Chris and Effie Drosopolus of Vasiliki Investments. Effie Drosopolus on Sept. 18 spoke to city officials and agreed to get a “game plan” to fix the outside of the out-of-code building, said Fort Smith Building Services Director Jimmie Deer.
Next to 906 Cigar Lounge at the corner of Ninth Street and Garrison Avenue, the 20,405-square-foot, two-story building’s façade is comprised of black exposed panels and weathered wood. Former owner Rick Goins in February 2017 tore down the 1970s-era metal façade, explaining the move was a step toward attracting an investor for redevelopment.
Three and a half years later, the building sits empty with a façade that contrasts the upscale metropolitan appearance of 906. It is currently in violation of nuisance ordinances in the city’s property maintenance code, Deer said.
Central Business Improvement District commissioners discovered the new property ownership “after an exhaustive legal search again,” a Fort Smith Neighborhood Services report states. Effie Drosopolus on Sept. 19 told city officials she and her brother Chris were in the final stages for a restaurant remodel at the time and that the building was their next priority.
Deer said city officials will meet with the Drosopoluses in October and go over their plan to improve the outside of the building. He said they did not say if they had plans for the inside of the building.
Chris Drosopolus’ assistant on Wednesday afternoon said he would be in touch with the Times Record in response to inquiries about his plans for the property.