Reportedly JT Rivers has its eyes on 10 South Side properties once they start to become available to contractors in the near future.

In some corners of cyberspace, skepticism is regularly being expressed regarding Hannibal’s Community P.R.I.D.E. Project. On Monday afternoon at City Hall a house renovator/builder expressed eagerness to begin work on the city’s South Side, where the neighborhood revitalization program is slated to kick off.

Tyson Mathews, the chief executive officer of JT Rivers Real Estate, which is based in Frisco, Texas, looked on with interest as members of the city’s Building Commission voted to “begin the process” that must be followed before demolition can proceed on any of the 34 South Side houses that are in such poor condition they cannot be saved. Another 35 structures in the same neighborhood will be available to developers for rehabilitation.

Reportedly JT Rivers has its eyes on 10 South Side properties once they start to become available to contractors in the near future.

Mathews is no stranger to Hannibal. In recent months he’s had a crew working to renovate a property in the 1100 block of Hill Street. With a touch of pride, Mathews showed Building Commission members photos of his crew’s handiwork.

“It’s incredible,” said Joey Burnham, building inspector, who was familiar with the condition of the Hill Street property before the renovation work commenced.

Mathews intends to perform more rehab miracles on the city’s South Side.

Mathews told Building Commission members that his intent is not solely focused on making money, but in helping the area grow.

“This is something I enjoy doing,” he said, noting that JT Rivers has had success renovating properties in other parts of the country.

Hannibal’s Community P.R.I.D.E. Project will offer an opportunity that JT Rivers can’t resist – the availability of a number of properties.

“We’ll put together multiple crews that can go fast and hard,” he said, adding that his company will be looking to hire local tradesmen to fill slots on construction crews. “We like using local resources.”

Securing multiple properties for a reasonable price allows JT Rivers to market the completed houses at a cost that Mathews says will actually be cheaper than many prospective homebuyers are now paying in rent.

“This will allow people to build equity in an asset,” said Mathews.

As property renovations move forward, Mathews plans on reaching out to neighbors who might be interested in sprucing up their own properties by offering the use of dumpsters and possibly materials.

While his crews are renovating existing structures or building new houses, Mathews plans on promoting Hannibal to his business contacts about the opportunities that exist in America’s Hometown.

“I’ll be making more trips to Hannibal to learn more about the town,” he said.

Mayor James Hark, who is chairman of the Building Commission, has heard from naysayers who don’t believe the Community P.R.I.D.E. Project will succeed. He stressed that the city has heard from both local and out-of-town developers who are interested in the program.

“We hope it’s a success,” he said. “There may be a few hiccups, but I’d rather be screamed at for doing something than for not doing anything.”

Reach reporter Danny Henley at