ALTON - Mac Lenhardt, owner with Robert Sanders, of the old Tony’s property, said the changes underway with demolition of the old original Tony’s and renovation of the two front buildings should not in any way be perceived as a negative, but as a complete positive for Downtown Alton.

Demolition work by Stutz Excavating and waste removal by Robert Sanders Waste continued like clockwork on Thursday. The demolition started on Wednesday morning. Apparently, by Friday, much of the area will be cleared.

Mac Lenhardt said his vision with Robert Sanders and his son, Rob, is to significantly improve the Downtown Alton area and he believes the changes will help that happen.

“We didn’t buy it to tear it down,” he said of the original Tony’s. “We simply bought the property to rent or sell and had no intention of tearing it down. We had roofers look at the original Tony’s buildings and they wouldn’t even give us a quote. We had a structural engineer look at the original Tony’s buildings and he said it was beyond repair. We didn’t feel we had any other choice but to tear them down.

“Our vision is that overall it will be awesome for Downtown Alton and all my neighbors. The two buildings in front of the old Tony’s are being rehabbed and will have new businesses in there and they have been vacant. We have a good lead on one big one already. We receive 11 trucks in here on Tuesdays and we hold up the streets, but we won’t have to do that now with the expanded space in the back. There will be expanded parking, which is also great for customers.”

Robert Sanders agreed that the rehab of the buildings downtown and the demolition will be positives for Alton.

“It is going to be a good look for Alton,” he said. “We put a new roof on the buildings in front of the old Tony's and everything will be great. We tried to fix the old Tony’s but couldn’t. Everything with the demolition is going well. We should have everything done by Friday. Stutz Excavating is doing a great job. They do great work and are great people.”

Mac closed by saying: “I am all about Downtown Alton. I do not want anything that isn't attractive for downtown. We are very excited about it and people will see the results when it is all finished.”

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