Paducah Renaissance Alliance fights to save downtown building
PADUCAH — The Paducah Renaissance Alliance hopes to save the empty furniture store at the corner of 3rd and Jefferson. Monday night, the advisory board voted to reaffirm their appeal to the city concerning the plan to tear it down and put up a parking lot.
The PRA's advisory board argues a city ordinance makes the move illegal. The organization's director, Lisa Thompson, says, "As a main street program, we have signed on to advocate for historic structures of buildings and advocate against demolition of historical buildings. But we're also trying to work with the property owners as well."
R&B Realvest LLC owns the building, and wrote a letter to the city that says repairing or restoring the structure would cost up to $4 million. But the PRA said they want to work with property owners to keep historic buildings in place.
"What we've been trying to do is match property owners with investors or even put property owners of several buildings together so that there's a pool to address two-thirds of the large buildings that we have the same issue with," Thompson said.
R&B Realvest would not comment but argued in its letter to the city that the building has little or no historical or architectural significance that would merit spending the money to repair it.
That's where the owners and the PRA disagree.
Sharon Poat, a member of the Midtown Alliance of Neighbors, said the old Ethan Allen building is "a historical contributing building, aside from the ugly slip front on it. It is an important building that contributes to downtown and every building downtown now is important and contributes to the downtown commercial district."
Attorney Dan Key said City Commissioners will hear from the PRA, as well as P&R Realvest, Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. They will then decide whether to uphold the original demolition certification or overturn it.