It’s been 1 year since 420 Main was imploded in Evansville

Newscast recording
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:56 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - One year ago, the city of Evansville imploded the building at 420 Main with plans to build something better, but that site is still empty.

When the building first came down, there were plans in motion to bring an improved building to the empty lot in the center of downtown. A struggling economy put the brakes on the project, but now the city is working to get it up to speed once again.

When 420 Main came down a year ago, the suddenly-vacant space meant new possibilities for city leadership. It’s not often they have a large blank canvas to work with in the center of town.

“This is a huge opportunity for downtown and for the broader city and actually for the region,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “It’s really the hub of the city. It’s right in the heart of main street.”

City officials say after the building came down, the developer they had been working with developed a new budget. The state of the economy at the time led to higher prices, so the project was paused. The city has since switched developers and changed their plans. Mayor Winnecke says the community has appeared patient despite the bumps in the road.

“Clearly it’s a project that people are curious about because it’s a full city block that’s vacant right in the heart of the city, but I think people are understanding, and they’re understanding because they see prices going up in everything they’re dealing with too,” said Winnecke.

Mayor Winnecke says their developer is working on plans now. They plan for the space to be a mixed-use development with around 150 apartments, at least one restaurant, and a park.

Even though it has taken more time than anticipated to come together, they hope people look to recent successes like the Deaconess Aquatic Center and the Penguins of Patagonia exhibit at Mesker Park Zoo.

“We’ve tried to do projects right and I think we have a good reputation for that,” said Winnecke. “We’ll get it right.”

Mayor Winnecke is hesitant to provide a timeline for the project, but he says they hope to break ground in the coming year.