Buyer interested in Hub building

December 08, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Christmas could be coming early for Main Street. There is a potential buyer for the Hub building.

Those same buyers purchased the pink Economy Inn on Main Street Monday, demolished it on Tuesday, and plan to build a shopping center and restaurant at the site.

A Lexington attorney for Audrey and Richard Haisfield told The Advocate-Messenger Tuesday that the couple plan to buy the Hub, renovate it, and put in office space, shops and a restaurant.

"They have a deep belief in downtown Danville," said Tom Marks. "They think Danville is ready for a revival."

Third Street Development Corp., owner of the Hub, isn't talking about it.

"We've not sold the Hub, regardless of what people are saying," said Janet Hamner, Third Street's president. "We're doing a business deal. It's not done until it's done."


She said an announcement is planned on Dec. 17, but she is keeping it under wraps until it is a done deal.

"They can talk about it if they want to," said Hamner. "We're not talking about it."

Similar project in Versailles

The Haisfields are working on similar project in downtown Versailles called Thoroughbred Square. They used to live in California, but have relocated to a horse farm near Versailles.

The couple buy high-end thoroughbreds. They were major investors in Derby great Seattle Slew and recently took part ownership of Cat Fighter, a 4-year-old filly that won this year's La Canada race.

Marks said the couple doesn't have a connection to Danville, but that they've been here. "They think it's a beautiful town."

The Haisfields bought the Economy Inn for $355,000 and the adjoining vacant lot for $218,000. The shopping center they plan will have 11,830 square-feet and be split into seven shops.

The plan will go before the Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Commission at 9 a.m. Dec. 15.

The commissioners also will review a plan that day to revise the Hub's plat. That property is split into six parcels, and Third Street wants to merge the parts into three.

In April, a group of local doctors announced they would buy the Gilcher building, the hotel that is next door to the Hub, an old department store.

The doctors plan to spend $5 million to renovate the Gilcher into an outpatient surgery center, which could be open sometime next year.

Danville City Commission has been working with the doctors to redesign the parking garage that is planned behind the Hub-Gilcher complex. A $1.75 million federal grant was secured to build it. The city plans to issue bonds to pay for the remainder.

Construction on the garage has not started.

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