There was a lot of talk that ended with little action inside Evansville’s tallest building. Empty promises echo through the shell of a building that was once the city’s crown jewel.
City Tower project has come crumbling down, and the 420 Main building is back on the market. Now the question in the heart of downtown – what comes next?
“I don’t know, it’s a piece of history for downtown,” says Rowen Samuels.
Perhaps 15 years ago the River City’s skyline centerpiece may have been well on its way to a $25 million renovation. Now real estate agent Ken Newcomb says a project like City Tower needs a lot more meat on the bone.
The group behind the project says it didn’t get the financial backing they needed to get off the ground floor. While the building is up for sale, officials say they are still working to secure money and bring the vision of condos, offices, and a restaurant to life.
Kristi White remembers a different downtown, and believes change is coming. “It was still the Old National Bank building, the Petroleum Club was still up there,” she says, “it’s a fixture.”
The list of tenants inside 420 Main isn’t very long. Some people inside hoped it would get a little bigger. People outside thought the city might, too.
Still, almost a year after City Tower was announced people still have doubts. “I’m not sentimental about it,” White says.
The building is on the market again for $5 million and what comes next is anybody’s guess. Newcomb says he is receiving interest from potential buyers.
“If they put some money into that building it would be a great thing for our community,” says Samuels.
Even a crown jewel can come from a diamond in the rough.
(This story was originally published November 28, 2017)