Politics

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration wants to demolish the 26-story Capital Plaza Tower and Frankfort Convention Center in the state capital’s downtown later this year.

The Finance and Administration Cabinet issued a request for proposals on Tuesday to demolish the tower complex and replace it with a new office building for 1,500 state employees, green space and a parking garage.

In a news release, the cabinet said the building has growing maintenance issues.

“After several studies, continued maintenance cost overruns, and potential safety issues, the Cabinet concluded the most effective solution is to replace current structures with new energy efficient and modern ones in a phased development,” the release said.

Several state agencies were housed in the tower between 1972 and last summer, when the state put the building up for sale.

The adjacent convention center is used for sporting events, concerts, graduations and the governor’s annual prayer breakfast.

Frankfort Convention Center/Facebook

Frankfort Convention Center

At 338 feet, the tower is the tallest building in Frankfort. The state capitol is the second tallest at 210 feet.

The project would be a public-private partnership that includes both the demolition of the plaza and construction of new facilities.

“A build-to-suit allows the Commonwealth to leverage the expertise and financial wherewithal of the private sector to complete projects on an aggressive schedule,” the Finance Cabinet said in the statement.

Demolition of the project could begin as soon as September of this year. The winning bidder would lease the property back to the state for a period ending in 2047.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.