Big Changes Proposed To Downtown Frankfort

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Big changes could be on the way to downtown Frankfort. The state wants to tear down the capital city's tallest building.

The 24 story Plaza Tower built in the 1970's is in need of major renovation, but state officials say it will only cost a little more to tear down and start over then to renovate the current structure.

"It's really just an eye sore for our great city," says Mayor Bill May, "and it would only cost about 15% more to tear it down and start from scratch."

As part of the proposal made this week, a four or five story building would replace the Tower Plaza, which would be built just to the east of the current structure.

"It's our version of a skyscraper," Robert Jewell of Frankfort said. "Or our landmark, you can't miss it. However, if it will save us money down the road, then I'm on board," Jewell went on to say.

That is the state's hope, to save money and to build a space more suitable for this size of city. Right now, Mayor May says there is a lot of wasted space in the Tower Plaza.

"Basically the Tower's lifespan is nearing it's end and we need to move forward. I believe this is what a new facility would provide our city, as well as create new economic opportunities for us," Mayor May said.

As it stands now, the project would cost about $100 million. The earliest construction would begin is 2010.

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