There will be an open house and ribbon cutting 3-6 p.m. Oct. 27 for Bonne Terre's Park View Apartments and everyone is welcome to attend.

Bonne Terre Community Betterment Committee Member Sue Wilke said they will holding the ribbon cutting at the corner of North Allen and Benham Streets at 3 p.m.

“We plan to open up and stage a couple of the apartments, so people can come in and look at them,” said Wilke. “They will be open for viewing so people can look and get an idea of what the smaller one is and then what a bigger one looks like.”

Wilke said there has been a waiting list for some time and at least one of the largest ones may be spoken for already.

“There will also be refreshments and some more information on them at the nutrition center, which will be open from 3 to 6 p.m.,” said Wilke. “Then the mayor will speak and a couple others. We will also address Sharo Shirshekan’s commitment to the town and how long it took to get to this point.”

Wilke said it has been 13 years and it all began with Shirshekan saying he would make part of the old Bonne Terre school into a city hall and then lease it to the city. She added at the time the city was renting a space for city hall and officials were talking about how much the city could afford.

“We have been through several city managers since then, but Larry Hughes was still city manager then and we were trying to figure how we could work that,” recalled Wilke. “Then it got to be, well it won’t be that much and then it got to be, we are going to give it to you. Not only are we going to give it to you, but we are going to make the police department 'state of the art' and he totally furnished it and did everything they wanted.”

Wilke said the commitment Shirshekan made grew and grew over time. To date he has given the city of Bonne Terre a new city hall, police department, nutrition center and most recently the Park View Apartments.

“They sat there for so long and as everything started back in the last few years he put it on the market,” said Wilke. “They had actually sold, but the guy who bought the apartments wasn’t able to follow through, so Sharo took it back. He was not going to sell it if it was going to go to somebody who couldn’t take care of them. He always wanted it to be committed for the city’s good.”

Wilke explained that when that happened, Shirshekan took it as a sign and decided to follow through with them and complete the project.

“He is deeply religious and he felt that was what God had wanted him to do so he was going to stay committed to the project,” said Wilke. “It has always been his thought that these apartments will help the city financially and it was sold to the city for $1. He has asked for nothing more than to take that revenue and put it back into the city.”

Wilke said they encourage everyone to come and they are hoping for a good group of people to be there. Again, there will be tours and people available for information during the event.

“Once the applications are in there is about a two-week waiting period and if approved they can move in,” said Wilke. “It was agreed that the prices for the units would be set at $500 for the small apartments, $650 for the ground floor medium-sized apartments and $700 for the large ones.”

The apartments next to the nutrition center have already been set at $650 for the second floor and $600 for those on the third floor since there are no elevators. Those apartments are all large in size.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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