Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Paseo Tower construction to start soon

12 Oct 2010 — Messenger-Inquirer
By Keith Lawrence, Messenger-Inquirer

Construction on the Paseo Tower in Riverfront Crossing ' the block north of the Daviess County Courthouse ' should begin this month and be completed by summer.

The tower ' sometimes referred to as a clock tower ' is the 'vertical signature piece' of that section of downtown redevelopment, Downtown Development Director Fred Reeves said Monday.

Tony Cecil, the city's operations manager, said the tower will be in the center of the block on the paseo ' a passageway that forms a cross between Second Street, Veterans Boulevard, Frederica Street and St. Ann Street.
'It will be 25 feet tall, 14 feet long and 14 feet wide,' he said. 'It won't be taller than the two-story buildings, but you'll still be able to see it from all four streets.'

The top, Cecil said, 'will be ornate to draw people into the block.'
The tower will have brick veneer walls with limestone molding and cornices.
A clock ' similar to the clocks that used to be in railroad depots, Cecil said ' will be placed about halfway up the tower.

People won't be able to climb the tower, but the base can be used for a variety of functions, Cecil and Reeves said.

'There's an open area at the bottom that's big enough for a small ensemble to play or for stump speaking,' Reeves said.

Hall Contracting of Louisville won the contract in July to rebuild Smothers Park and Veterans Boulevard and to build Riverfront Crossing with a bid of $19.4 million for the entire package.

That was nearly $4 million less than the nearest competitor.
Cecil said the bid didn't break out the cost of the Paseo Tower itself.
Several buildings in the Riverfront Crossing block, including the old American Bounty restaurant, were torn down to open up the area.
A new two-story restaurant is planned to replace American Bounty, and another new building might face Veterans Boulevard.

City officials say the second building could be a four-story structure next to the Sullivan, Mountjoy, Stainback & Miller law office, with ground-floor retail and condos or apartments above.

The original concept for the block in November 2008 called it 'Market Square Plaza.'

Plans called for an open-air plaza, which would include covered areas along its edges that could be home to a regular farmers market as well as providing space for retail sales kiosks and a open area for people to gather.

But after the city bought the 17-acre Executive Inn Rivermont property, the plans changed to relocate the farmer's market there.