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The Mountain Association — a local nonprofit organization — plans to revitalize and repurpose a building in downtown Hazard.

On July 11, it was announced that after more than 60 years, First Federal Savings and Loan sold their building in downtown Hazard to the Mountain Association.

According to a statement, the Mountain Association’s mission is to help build a new economy in Eastern Kentucky by supporting small businesses and organizations with loans and technical assistance, as well as energy efficiency and solar expertise. The community economic development nonprofit was inspired to purchase the building at 479 Main Street given the substantial downtown revitalization progress made in Hazard over the past decade.

InVision Hazard, a citizen-led revitalization group founded with Mountain Association support in 2014, has led much of Hazard’s work towards a vibrant community downtown, the statement said. In 2019, these efforts led to the City of Hazard and the Perry County Fiscal Court jointly hiring a Downtown Development Coordinator who has overseen record growth in downtown businesses in recent years.

Mountain Association, the statement said, hopes to build on that success by engaging in their own redevelopment project.

“We are excited for the opportunity to play a new role in the transformation of downtown Hazard. This building has anchored Main Street for decades, and we hope to bring it back into use for the next generation of downtown businesses,” said Mountain Association Special Projects Manager Les Roll.

The 11,000 square-foot building has been unoccupied since First Federal moved locations in 2016 after being in the building since 1960. Built at the corner of Lovern Street and Main Street in 1940, it is in need of major repair, including a new roof. The Mountain Association plans to work with local contractors on a complete remodel of the building to develop spaces for business and residential use. Mountain Association’s Hazard office, currently located within the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky building at 420 Main Street, will move to the new space once complete.

The nonprofit will be sharing regular updates on building progress on its website, social media and through community partners such as InVision Hazard and the City of Hazard.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Les Roll at, les@mtassociation.org, or visit,https://mtassociation.org/479Main.

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