Owensboro's already vibrant downtown keeps adding more - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Owensboro's already vibrant downtown keeps adding more

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The location the new building will be rising in the early parts of next year. The location the new building will be rising in the early parts of next year.
OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) -

There's a lot of buzz in Owensboro Wednesday night as the downtown community learns a new building will be going up on the riverfront. 

If you've been to downtown Owensboro recently, you know how quickly things are changing. The new Smothers Park continues to draw people downtown every day. Many are hoping the same will be true right across the street where that new multi-story building will soon go up.

Inside Fetta Pizzeria in downtown Owensboro, the dough is tossed by hand and the toppings are unique.

"We've had a real good successful five weeks," owner Mike Baker said.

Baker co-owns the new restaurant where, for a Wednesday night, business is as hot as the pizzas.

"What attracts most of us downtown is all the things going on," Baker said.

There's a lot going on. The newly renovated Smothers Park is right outside his business, as well as the new downtown hotel and convention center.

Then come next year, a new four to five story building with office space and three new restaurants.

"Yeah, it's going to be great for me. The more people you get downtown, it's just like any business area, the more people the businesses or restaurants you attract the more people you attract. You become a destination," Baker said.

The plan, we're told, being laid out by local developers Jack Wells and Matt Hayden calls for tearing down the current building being used by El Toribio Mexican Restaurant at Veterans Boulevard and Frederica Street, then building an over $10 million facility with office space on to and the restaurants on the main level.

"We will now have exceeded more than $100 million in private money in our downtown and I think that's significant. That's far beyond what we would have anticipated years ago," Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne said.

"What it does is really help differentiate Owensboro in terms of our quality of place which helps make us be more economically competitive," said Joe Berry, the downtown development director. 

The current lease on the building expires at the end of January. That's when officials expect it will be torn down and construction on the new building will begin. 

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