BEAUMONT, Texas — A north Texas investor's last-minute pitch for the downtown AT&T building has put demolition plans on hold.
The building is located at 555 Main Street in Beaumont.
Interim City Manager Chris Boone said the city plans to issue a “request for proposals” to give other investors a fair show and opportunity to bid on the building. Boone told 12News there is a plan in order to have a, "more open and transparent,” process.
Boone expects the plan to be released within the next few weeks.
Councilman Mike Getz is a supporter of saving the now city-owned building. Getz told 12News it’s important to give other investors the opportunity to bid.
Selim Kiralp is from north Texas and is the owner Selim Kiralp LSC investments. He has proposed buying the building and turning it into luxury apartments, with a public gym and rooftop bar.
Kiralp believes the property has potential.
"I've been inside the building, and the building structure itself is good," Kiralp said. "And if the city tears it down, it's not going to bring anything to city's tax roll. It has a lot of potential to bring to downtown Beaumont."
Council members are not set to discuss the fate of he building at Tuesday's city council meeting.
In early April of 2022, Beaumont City Council members agreed to to demolish the former AT&T building and move forward with their riverfront development plans.
A last-minute interest from an outside investor in early May of 2022 made the council reevaluate their original plans to demolish it. Getz previously told 12News a private investor expressed interest in buying the building.
Getz said he wants to see downtown flourish and believes it starts with the AT&T building and adjacent riverfront downtown areas.
The city council bought the building from then-owner Tom Flanagan in July of 2021 for $2.8 million. Getz is against demolishing the building because, in addition to the $2.8 million purchase, there are other expenses at hand.
According to Getz, the total costs would come out to roughly $4 million, leaving the city with $1 million left in its budget for the project and a pile of dirt.
Getz also said part of the original purchase contract between the city and Flanagan is that Flanagan has the right to buy the building back for the same price the city paid if they don't demolish it. Getz said the best place for the building is in the hands of the private sector.