Monday, March 28, 2011

Mixed Use Development Planned for Bates Building in Downtown Owensboro

Terry Woodward said Thursday he has purchased the three-story Bates Building at 101 W. Second St., the building next to it and a large vacant lot on Veterans Boulevard for $1.2 million.

The owner of WaxWorks/VideoWorks plans to build a "mixed-use, retail, high-rise condominium" on the lot, after the Bates Building has been restored.

"That is my plan," Woodward said. "Obviously, it's very preliminary, but that's what I want to do."

The purchase includes the building at 105 W. Second St., occupied by Patti's ReSale store (the former Woolworth's). The open lot behind those two buildings overlooks Veterans Boulevard and Smothers Park. The large lot sits between the city's parking garage and the American Legion.

Woodward plans to spend a year or more restoring and repairing the Bates Building.

Woodward closed the deal on the buildings and the lot on Wednesday, buying the property from Jeff Barber and his wife and real estate agent JoAnn Risner.

"I don't have plans to buy the American Legion," Woodward said. "I'll take it one step at a time. I will make it my priority to bring these buildings back. Obviously, by the time they are finished, probably Smothers Park and the street will be finished. I think it will be a spectacular waterfront if you want my opinion."

Woodward's plans for the Bates Building include retail on the first floor and apartments on the second and third floors.

"It has very high ceilings and ornate woodwork and staircases," Woodward said.

Patti's ReSale is welcome to stay, Woodward said.

Patti Acquisto, owner of Patti's ReSale, expressed excitement about Woodward's purchase and his plans for the Bates Building.

"From the information we have been given by the Realtors, Terry desires for us to stay," she said. "We don't want to move. ... We're just ecstatic that he's going to do something with the building next door. Whatever bridges we have to cross, we'll cross them."

A church, PromiseLand Metro, currently holds services in the ground floor of the Bates Building, which was built in the 1880s and first housed a bank. Woodward said he hasn't spoken to officials of the church.

In January of 2005, Waterfront LLC, of which Jeff Barber is a partner, purchased 101-103 W. Second St., 105-107 W. Second St., 102-112 Veterans Blvd. and 112 Allen St., from Peachtree Galleries for $900,000. It was unclear Thursday if Woodward's purchase included all the properties Waterfront LLC purchased in 2005.

Barber is president and CEO of Owensboro Medical Health System.

Steve Vied, 691-7297,