The coronavirus pandemic has likely scuttled plans for another downtown hotel.
Keating Resources, which bought the Gold's Building last December with plans to redevelop it and add a 110-room extended-stay hotel, has changed course.
Tom Chvala, a partner with Keating Resources, said the pandemic has had a huge negative effect on the hospitality industry and demand, which has led the company to go in a different direction.
The building, which Keating paid about $2.3 million for last December and has since spent about $1 million on for improvements, is now listed for sale with CBRE in Omaha for $7.5 million.
The listing says the building "is ideal for as-is office space or for multifamily/hotel redevelopment."
Chvala said selling the building is not a foregone conclusion, and Keating would be willing to partner with another company to do some kind of joint venture development.
In his mind, that would likely be apartments, which seems to be the best bet in a real estate market altered by the pandemic.
Chvala said the company has had some preliminary discussions with other companies, but if those don't pan out, it likely will move forward with an apartment plan itself.
He foresees the potential to do up to 200 apartments in the six-story northern half of the building, likely market-rate units but possibly luxury ones.
Though there is a ton of housing development in the area right now, with the Lied Place Residences under construction at 11th and Q streets and redevelopment projects planned at the Terminal Building at 10th and O streets and the Lincoln Electric System headquarters building at 11th and O streets, all of those are condo projects.
And many of the existing rental apartments in the area are at student-focused complexes, such as Latitude at 11th and N streets.
Chvala said the six-story portion of the building "kind of sets up naturally for apartments," with 14-foot ceilings and "great views of downtown."
The four-story southern portion of the building will remain home to state government offices, at least for now, although it's not clear what the state's long-term plans are.
Chvala said Keating has spent the past 11 months focusing on stabilizing and securing the building to improve things for its current tenant.
That has included closing most of the first floor to public access after the remaining retail tenants left. Now, the only public access is on the north side of the building, and people can only get in far enough to access state offices located there.
"All told, safety for our tenant, the State of Nebraska, has been our number one priority," Chvala said.
He said now that that work is done, "we're kind of setting it up for the next stage."
What that stage will be will depend on what kind of interest Keating gets from other developers over the next few months.
An apartment project, whether done by Keating or some other company, would seem to have a good shot at getting city help.
Dan Marvin, the city's Urban Development director, said his department has had one meeting with Keating about the potential new plans.
While he said things are "fairly preliminary" at this point, the city likely would be in favor of using tax-increment funding for apartments at the site.
"Given our past ability to approve other housing projects, I'm sure that's appropriate," Marvin said.
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