OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) Owensboro city officials are looking at other options, including demolition, for Gabe’s Tower just days after the latest deadline for redevelopment proposals passed.
The city did not get any bids from outside developers before last Thursday’s deadline.
More than two months after the city of Owensboro took over Gabe’s Tower, its future could be sealed.
“We’ll begin to look at demolition, potentially,” says City Manager Nate Pagan.
“Kind of surprised. It’s one of the last pieces of Owensboro,” says Candice Nicely of Knottsville, reacting to the news of the city not getting any requests for proposals from outside developers.
Pagan says most of the options for the tower and its site involve demolition of the building. The city didn’t get any requests for proposals before the deadline.
“That was not surprising. That’s what we were expecting based on our understanding of potential costs and complications of trying to renovate the tower to a useful purpose,” he says.
The city bought the tower from former owner Bob Zimmerman for $360,000 earlier this year.
“We issued the request for proposals for a couple of reasons. Just to ensure that there were no viable alternatives that we weren’t aware of. We suspected that to be the case, but we wanted to verify that there were no alternatives that the market could provide,” Pagan says.
An environmental assessment, which he says is the first phase of the demolition process, started. That will measure impact on surrounding area during a possible demolition. Pagan also says at least $600,000 is available in the city’s budget to cover at least some demolition cost.
“It is one of Owensboro’s last landmarks, so it still needs to stand,” says Nicely.
Pagan says the city commissioners must approve any plan regarding the tower’s future. He adds there is no set timeline on the next phase in deciding the future of Gabe’s Tower.
(This story was originally published on November 25, 2019)