After months of uncertainty, it seems the downtown development known as the wrap is getting back on track.
Hitcents has given notice that it will terminate its lease Sept. 25 and will move out of the building. We believe this is a positive step for the project as it eliminates some uncertainty as to how much longer they would have continued to occupy the space.
Last week, the Bowling Green City Commission, Warren County Fiscal Court and Warren County Downtown Economic Development Authority all approved an interlocal agreement that will allow the project to move forward under a new project developer, Bowling Green Hot Rods owner Jerry Katzoff. The agreement calls for the county to issue $30 million in industrial revenue bonds to pay off debts to unpaid contractors and to finish the development, formerly known as Hitcents Park Plaza. The development will be renamed Stadium Park Plaza.
Although final approval is needed by the Kentucky Department of Local Government, local officials are confident the agreement will be approved.
We hope it is done in a timely manner, as moving forward with the project is exactly what is needed at this point. This unfortunate situation has dragged on far too long and it has been quite obvious for some time now that new blood was needed to finish this project and get restaurants Mariah’s and 6-4-3 sports bar, which have been closed since March, up and running again.
Katzoff has worked diligently on getting the restaurants reopened. Mariah’s will open Tuesday, and 6-4-3 will open soon. Katzoff has also said he intends to finish the College Street side of the wrap with housing, which will be a huge asset to our downtown.
These are all positive signs that Katzoff is serious about finishing this project. That is what this city wants, and from all accounts it appears Katzoff will deliver on his word. It is also significant that Katzoff is using some of his own money to complete thewrap.
We as a community have a vested interest in seeing this project completed. Has all of the headache that has come with it made it a pleasurable experience? Of course not.
But at the end of the day, it is reassuring to know that we have a new project developer on the building who has a proven track record as a successful businessman.
After the nightmare our city has had to endure over the past several months, it is good to know the restaurants are about to be reopened, new condominiums may be built in the near future to add living spaces to our downtown and someone who knows what he is doing is in charge of finally completing the wrap project.
We’re glad all parties involved came together for the common good of our community and worked diligently to find a solution to an ongoing problem that plagued our city.