Century Old Building May Get New Life

A sold sign on the window of the Dovey Building. The historic 125-year-old Plattsmouth building is back in the hands of a previous owner.

The Cassgram reports Russ and Kim Kathol closed on the purchase of the 527/537 Main Street property on Christmas Eve. There’s a lot of work to do but Russ said they want to restore the property to “the great splendor it was” over a century ago.

It’s been vacant for five years and it shows. In addition to the façade and interior renovations needed, “all the electrical and heating and air conditioning needs to be replaced,” said Kathol. The exterior will get the attention first with a goal of completing that by the summer, restoring it to the way it looked in the 1940s.

As to future tenants, Kathol said there are many options. He’s not ruling out the possibility that Main Street Jewelers and Diamond Floral (businesses he and Kim own just a block to the east) and a prospective addition to those businesses may someday locate there. With its location and all the windows, it is ideal for a variety of other business tenants too.

Kathol said it’s been going around town he plans to open a restaurant there but wants to quash that rumor right away. “I am definitely not in the food business.”

The Kathols own other commercial properties in the historic district of Plattsmouth. “We’re putting our faith in the people of downtown. Our city did it with the streetscape and as a building owner I feel I’m protecting the investments that I currently have downtown. …I’m trying to save a gorgeous building in our town.”

The Kathols purchased the Dovey Building once before, owning it for only one day.

Larry Richling of Keystone Properties of Omaha had purchased the CR Lanes bowling alley—renovating that into Hollywood Diner and Starz & Strikes bowling alley—and also purchased a building in downtown Plattsmouth in early 2006. He wanted the Dovey Building too. “We had a purchase agreement on it (Dovey),” explained Kathol, “and Larry Richling came along and offered us more than we were paying for it. It was a good cash flow opportunity so we sold it the day after we closed on the deal.”

Hollywood Diner/Starz & Strikes went out of business months later and that building remains empty and for sale. County records show it is the property of a local bank.

The Dovey Building deteriorated after its doors closed. In March of this year, the Plattsmouth Conservancy provided grant funds for the installation of a 4-inch utility line to the vacant building during the Downtown Corridor Improvement Project. At the time, Charles Jones of the Plattsmouth Main Street Association told Conservancy members “The urgency is to do the work as soon as possible during ongoing street construction. This removes the potential of honoring a request for this service later requiring a tear up of the new streetscape sidewalk areas and a much higher cost to any developer.” The Conservancy’s action was “a part of a package of incentives” for the development of the Dovey Building, said Jones.

A “Task Force to Save the Dovey” was also formed.

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