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5th Street Lot Debate - KOAM TV 7

5th Street Lot Debate

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

The vacant lot in downtown Pittsburg won't stay vacant for long. The city recently acquired the property from the owner, because the structure on it was coming down and threatening adjacent businesses.

"Clearly, the city is not in the business of obtaining property. But in this case, it seemed like the right thing to do for the businesses located in that space." said Becky Gray, Pittsburg's director of housing and community development.

Pittsburg is looking to get the lot into the hands of an eager developer, and it's got two to choose from. The 5th Street Bar & Grill wants to expand with a beer garden and sound stage, and Rise Redevelopment, a Boston based company that plans to relocate to Pittsburg, wants to encourage home and condo ownership downtown.

Pittsburg's Downtown Advisory Board has recommended Rise, and the 5th Street Bar & Grill isn't happy about it. 

"Rise Redevelopment can build this project anywhere in this town they want. There's plenty of empty lots. I can only go one place. That's why we're fighting. This is my one chance as a land locked bar," said bar owner Kyle Mullen. 

The bar owner is also unhappy about how the Downtown Advisory Board made their decision.

"We were not given notice that we were even on the agenda for the Downtown Advisory Board," said Mullen.

Rise Redevelopment provided this statement to KOAM & Fox 14.

"We hope to preserve the rich history of Pittsburg while breathing new life into the neighborhoods and communities through real estate redevelopment, and are excited to be part of the City of Pittsburg's downtown renaissance, and aspire to contribute to the economic rejuvenation of the community we will soon call home."

As of now, only recommendations have been made. City commissioners will make a final decision at their next meeting.

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