Jerry Katzoff was conducting business Thursday, as he has many times over the past several months, from a table in his Mariah’s restaurant in Stadium Park Plaza.
What was different was that Katzoff was effectively in place as the plaza’s developer.
Warren County sold $30 million in revenue bonds Wednesday to refinance the parking garage wrap and compete the project with Katzoff as the developer.
“All of the documents were signed this morning,” Katzoff said Thursday.
Because the sale of the bonds won’t close until Jan. 27, Katzoff will officially assume the title of developer Feb. 1, Warren County Donwntown Economic Development Authority attorney Scott Bachert said.
Katzoff, the New York businessman who first entered the Bowling Green scene when he purchased the minor league Bowling Green
Hot Rods baseball team in 2013, elaborated Thursday on his plans for the development which he first shared with the Daily News last week.
He said a WKU store with a Starbucks coffee shop will occupy about 4,000 square feet on the Eighth Avenue corner of the development. The store would not only sell WKU-related merchandise, but art and other products made by WKU students. Katzoff said the retail space can be separated by a partition from the Starbucks, allowing the coffee shop to open earlier and stay open later. He said he’s hoping to open the store early during baseball season, which starts April 7.
Katzoff also reiterated that he has several other tenants in the works for the remainder of the office space, including a company that would occupy the entire top floor space once occupied by technology firm Hitcents.
“If not them, it’s a great space and should not be difficult” to rent, he said.
Katzoff also said he will complete the unfinished portion of the wrap, either with offices, condos or a combination. Katzoff is also the owner of minor league baseball teams in Reno, Nev., and Louisville, and he said offices to run the three teams will be in the development.
He also has not given up on plans to take the central ground floor space between Mariah’s and 6-4-3 Sports Bar, once occupied by three fast-casual restaurants, and convert it to banquet space.
The issue is structural beams in that space make it hard to configure, but he has architects looking for a solution, he said. The current second-floor banquet space “would be great office space,” Katzoff said.
As for the remainder of the vacant space, “we have not done a big push” as he waited for the bonds to sell, Katzoff said. “People are comfortable now it’s not going to fail.”
He said business at Mariah’s and 6-4-3 Sports Bar “have been great,” and he’s moving ahead with plans for more concerts and other events in the plaza between Bowling Green Ballpark and Stadium Park Plaza.
Hot Rods General Manager Adam Nuse was also at Mariah’s on Thursday and said the team is looking forward to a season with a vibrant retail environment next door.
“I think there will be great synergy,” Nuse said.