A bulldozer operator clears dirt on the site of the former Frankfort Convention Center Tuesday afternoon. The state, city and county representatives will be opening sealed bids for Parcels B and C at 3 p.m. Wednesday on the fourth floor of the Mayo-Underwood Building, shown in the background. (Chanda Veno | State Journal)

Sealed bids for two parcels of prime downtown real estate will be opened to the public Wednesday afternoon at the Mayo-Underwood Building.

The bids, which the state Finance and Administration Cabinet began seeking in early August for the combined 11.8 acres known as Parcels B and C, will be unsealed at 3 p.m. on the fourth floor of the new state office building, according to Pamela Trautner, public information officer for the cabinet.

Parcels B and C, which encompass the former site of the Frankfort Convention Center and the land under the YMCA, the Capital Plaza Hotel and a state parking garage, are being offered to private developers in an effort to get the land back on the local tax rolls as mixed-use residential and commercial space envisioned by Frankfort's Downtown Master Plan.

“From day one, when we made the decision to take down the Capital Plaza Tower and build a new state-of-the-art office building, my goal was to return as much public property as possible back to the private sector and onto the tax rolls of Frankfort and Franklin County,” Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary William Landrum III said. “After much discussion and research, we deemed selling the property through an RFB accomplishes this goal.”

The Request for Bids, which closed in September, required that proposals provide for mixed-use development, integrating commercial, retail, residential, parking, cultural, institutional and entertainment uses, while also providing pedestrian connections. In addition to meeting with the City of Frankfort’s Planning and Development Department to review the project’s fit for the Urban Mixed-Use District zoning designation, developers also must provide information on their experience with similar projects and their financial wherewithal, as well as meet other criteria.

Officials from the Finance Cabinet and one representative from both the city and county will review the submissions for compliance.

The Finance Cabinet sent the RFB out to developers across the country and posted it online. Starting in mid-August, site visits were conducted. Bids were due by Sept. 25.

The Mayo-Underwood Building, at 500 Mero St., will also be officially dedicated at a 1 p.m. ceremony Wednesday. Brief tours of the building will follow and an a community open house is planned from 3:30-6 p.m.

Parking for both events will be available in the attached garage from the Mero Street-St. Clair Street intersection. The Mero Street-Wilkinson Boulevard intersection will be closed.

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