City hopes Pershing Auditorium will find a new owner in 2020

Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 6:10 PM CST
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The city hopes 2020 will bring a new owner to Pershing Auditorium.

The once destination location for concerts, games and events has been sitting empty for five years.

Since then, the city has been footing a big bill to maintain the building, waiting for development proposals that haven't come.

"We've had inquiries, I'd call them inquiries, but no formal proposals," Dan Marvin, Director for Urban Development said.

The city hopes a developer will submit an idea and buy the lot to turn it into office, retail or living space.

So far there haven't been any takers.

"There are some challenges here, the building coming down is the main one," Marvin said.

Marvin said demolition costs would be around $2 million.

The city's already been spending between $77,000 and $94,000 annually to maintain the building, though that will change going forward. In the past few months contractors have gutted Pershing of flammable materials, disabled the sprinkler system and turned the heat and lights off, bringing maintenance costs down to a few hundred dollars a year.

Though the city is still hoping a developer will come soon.

"The ideas we've heard have been realistic, they've been doable," Marvin said. He's referring to ideas like apartments, offices, retail or even restaurants.

Marvin hopes there could be movement forward sometime in 2020. He said it's likely once one proposal comes in, more will follow.

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