All "A" State Tournament losing its home.......

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    plantmanky's Avatar
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    All "A" State Tournament losing its home.......

    Tower, convention center and plaza slated for demolition by September | The State Journal


    Tower, convention center and plaza slated for demolition by September
    Published 8:25 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

    @Bradleybowman

    State and local officials reacted Tuesday after being summoned to meet with Gov. Matt Bevin and cabinet personnel on Tuesday morning about plans to tear down and replace Frankfort’s largest building and surrounding structures.

    By the end of September the Capital Plaza Tower, the Capital Plaza and the Frankfort Convention Center could be demolished, according to a request posted by the Finance and Administration Cabinet seeking a private partnership to redevelop the property and bring more state workers back downtown.

    Franklin County legislators Sen. Julian Carroll and Rep. Derrick Graham met with Bevin early Tuesday to discuss the cabinet’s request-for-proposals plan, which will include taking out the parking garages, adding green space after the convention center is demolished and replacing the tower with a 385,500 gross-square-feet state office building to house 1,500 state employees.

    According to Carroll, Bevin said centralizing state employees back in the downtown area from offices in the county would bring an estimated $2.7 million in occupational tax revenue back to Frankfort.



    The cabinet will accept proposals until 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 31, on the demolition of the tower, the convention center, the plaza-area garages, the cooling towers, HVAC and other systems supplied to the plaza offices and convention center.

    “They are going to have all the individual occupants of the various plaza offices out by September, which should allow the project to proceed to demolition,” Carroll said. “The project is going to involve a five-story state office building with a parking space added to the building. We were taken aback that he (Bevin) indicated that the choice of whether to demolish the convention center would be required. We prefer that the convention center not be demolished. His guys there with him explained they would have to rebuild the heating and air conditioning at a cost of about $7.5 million and the center itself required renovations of about $15 million.”

    Carroll said he didn’t think the General Assembly would appropriate the amount of money needed to maintain the convention center, but said he would not be satisfied “in the long term to not have a facility similar to our current convention center. We are hopeful some governor, some day will help us build such a structure with the General Assembly.”

    The green space left as a result of the demolition will be available for future community planning in conjunction with state government.

    “There is certainly the desire to again make retail space available around the plaza to help support the community, and that would all obviously would be planned in the future after the most immediate needs such as the demolition of the tower are done,” Carroll said.

    The RFP calls for a private-public partnership to develop the property, which will be leased back by the state, and will include improvements to the demolished areas and the pedestrian bridge “traversing Wilkinson Boulevard to the Capital Plaza facade, the YMCA parking garage and to the elevated plaza areas,” overpassing Mero and Clinton streets.

    The demolition will also reopen Washington Street between the YMCA and the J.C. Watts Federal Building. The street was closed off once the federal building was constructed.

    The convention center, formerly known as the Farnham Dudgeon Convention Center, hosts several high school graduations from surrounding counties every year, the Mid-South Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, the All “A” Classic basketball championships and Kentucky State University’s graduation.

    The financial impact of losing those convention center contracts and on local businesses from losing tourist tax dollars remains to be seen.

    Frankfort Mayor Bill May also met with cabinet officials, including Secretary William Landrum, Tuesday to discuss the developments.

    “First, let me say how much I appreciate Gov. Bevin and Secretary Landrum for wanting to bring more jobs to the downtown area. The additional jobs will be a shot in the arm to our local restaurants and businesses,” May said. “I would love to have a facility that would host sporting events, graduations, conventions and performing arts events. I do understand the costs with the heating and cooling separation from the plaza tower, the convention center and the costs to renovate the convention center to get it up to code. The costs to update an outdated facility versus building something new — I think the opportunity to get more jobs downtown and the green space and parking garage attached to the hotel for mixed use, meaning residential and retail space, would be an opportunity to increase our tax base and have more people living downtown.”

    May said he would still like to pursue an avenue for having a performing arts center that could also host sporting events and large conventions and that he believes the state is open to working with the city and the county on determining how the green space would be used.

    “I would want to find out from our community what our locals would want to see there as well,” May said.
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    Lawnboy13's Avatar
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    That would stink for the All A State Tourney, that is one of the best venues to watch a high school game.

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    sweet16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawnboy13 View Post
    That would stink for the All A State Tourney, that is one of the best venues to watch a high school game.
    Agree. I liked it here much better than EKU.

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    Bring it to NKY. That's a great venue for basketball. After all didn't the All A start in NKY? Maybe Coach Strudel and Coach Swagger could make this happen.

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    sumoroyal's Avatar
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    The Fieldhouse is always available.

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    sweet16's Avatar
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    Too far for the rest of the state to have it at NKU.

    How about rotate it around the state?

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    BIGZIG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGZIG View Post
    Bring it to NKY. That's a great venue for basketball. After all didn't the All A start in NKY? Maybe Coach Strudel and Coach Swagger could make this happen.
    New phone. Spell check issues. Coach Steidel and Swauger

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    Removing it without any concrete plans to replace it with another convention center, and losing yearly guaranteed money for the city of Frankfort, no matter the cost of restoring it, seems rather shortsighted and haphazard.

    Sure, they "might" eventually build another similar facility, but as of now it seems to be left up to chance. I get the dilemma of either pouring big money into restorations, or building a whole new and different project in its place, but the entire plan should also be including another convention center for certain.

    My gut feeling is that the present one is a unique facility and a fan friendly place to watch basketball, and it's disturbing to think that it will get the wrecking ball, and I wouldn't be surprised if it makes many folks of Frankfort sick to their stomachs to watch it go.

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    The Professor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweet16 View Post
    Agree. I liked it here much better than EKU.
    I'm just the opposite. I liked EKU better but I doubt if it ever returns there.

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    B-Ball-fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGZIG View Post
    Bring it to NKY. That's a great venue for basketball. After all didn't the All A start in NKY? Maybe Coach Strudel and Coach Swagger could make this happen.
    As a Northern Kentuckian that sounds appealing for my personal convenience, yet with it not being more centralized that probably won't sit well with many around the state, and to continue to build interest in it and attract spectators, it will suffer when many consider it not worth traveling so far for.

    Not only that, with the Bearcats and the Norse playing there, scheduling the All 'A' there would likely be a nightmare, if not impossible.

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    Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY on line one.......Bellarmine on line one please.

    Facility + Location...name one better?! There isn't.

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    PurplePride92's Avatar
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    Was this an expected decision or sudden? Was the All A planned to be at Frankfort next season?

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    TAC's Avatar
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    The area is a dinosaur. Loved to watch games there, but not surprised they are getting rid of the arena and same with the buildings attached including the hotel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweet16 View Post
    Too far for the west of the state to have it at NKU.

    How about rotate it around the state?
    Fixed it for you.

    BTW, we love traveling to WKU every year for the last 25 or so years to attend either the girls state basketball tournament or the football state championships. Signed all of NKY.

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    The plaza tower is not the hotel. The hotel is privately owned.

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