Demolition day for Frankfort’s Capital Plaza Tower has been reset to March 11.
In a news release sent late Tuesday afternoon, the Finance and Administration Cabinet announced the 28-story, 330-foot tower will be imploded on Sunday, March 11, at 1:30 p.m.
Lexington developer-contractor team CRM/D.W. Wilburn began work on Capital Plaza redevelopment last month when they won a so-called “built-to-suit” contract from the state. In a built-to-suit project, a private firm receives annual lease payments from the state for designing, building, financing and operating a building until the state buys back the property.
In exchange for leveling the area and building a replacement state office building, CRM/D.W. Wilburn will receive annual lease payments from the state of $7.3 million for 30 years starting in 2020. The team constructed and operates the state office building at 300 Sower Blvd. under a similar agreement.
Earlier this month, CRM/D.W. Wilburn’s demolition contractor Renascent, which is subcontracting implosion of the actual tower to Maryland-based Controlled Demolition Inc., told The State Journal that it had selected Sunday, Feb. 25, on its calendar for Capital Plaza Tower demolition.
That weekend of Feb. 25 is expected to be one of Frankfort’s busiest, with the annual Kentucky State Dance Competition to be held at Kentucky State University. In 2016, that competition drew about 6,000 visitors over two days to the now-demolished Frankfort Convention Center, according to data from the Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission.
The news prompted City Manager Cindy Steinhauser and Tourist Commission Executive Director Robin Antenucci to draft an email suggesting alternate dates to the Finance and Administration Cabinet.
Tuesday’s news release said the Finance Cabinet and CRM/D.W. Wilburn have completed preliminary discussions with the city, local law enforcement and emergency services, adding that all entities “will ensure that coordination is a top priority” and that a new informational website, capitalplaza.ky.gov, will go live within the next two weeks.
“As more details become available, meetings will be arranged with local businesses, community organizations and residents,” the news release said.
Ceremonies to mark the event have not been determined. In the Finance Cabinet’s request for proposals on the project, Finance Secretary William Landrum reserved the right to “push the plunger” detonator should the Capital Plaza Tower be imploded or otherwise initiate demolition.
The state also reserved all movie rights with regard to the filming of the demolition.
The Capital Plaza Tower opened in 1972.