The City of Owensboro is providing one last opportunity for developers to propose redevelopment plans for Gabe’s Tower before demolishing the building.
City Manager Lelan Hancock said this is a last-ditch effort to see whether any developers have feasible, financially-sound plans for the 13-story building, located at 1926 Triplett Street. The City purchased the property from Bob Zimmerman last month for $360,000.
“If anybody has the financial ability to turn [that property into something], we’ll entertain those ideas,” Hancock said.
However, Hancock said the City will make sure any developers who come forward have a fully thought-out plan that addresses, not only the financial and redevelopment aspects of the property but the parking and age issues that affect the tower as well.
“The building poses challenges,” Hancock said. “With its age and condition, it’d be difficult to bring it up to modern codes, and [the layout] of the building and the parking issues affect it as well.”
There’s not enough parking at Gabe’s Tower to satiate the needs of the residents who’d live there if the building was developed into, say, a restored apartment complex, Hancock said. Additional parking lot space would have to be included in the plans from a developer.
The City has seen this property exchange hands enough times without any of these developers’ ideas coming to fruition, Hancock said. If someone wants to redevelop the property now, the City wants to be sure they intend to see it through.
“They’d need an architectural drawing, a detailed plan of what they’d want to do, a financial plan, and a timeline,” Hancock said. “The City has battled for years to get to this point with Gabe’s Tower.”
Developers have until Nov. 7 to submit plans for Gabe’s Tower — after that, the demolition process will begin if no developer is chosen for the project.
“Whether it gets redeveloped, or we tear it down and redevelop it for another property — either way, it’s back on the tax roll,” Hancock said.