Plans to fill "the hole" and redevelop the adjacent Hynds Building in downtown Cheyenne are moving forward.

Cheyenne LEADS has entered into a purchase agreement with the Children's Museum of Cheyenne for roughly two-thirds of "the hole" property and hopes to purchase the remainder from the city.

"Since we're a nonprofit organization, specifically for economic development, we're in a position to be able to acquire the property from the city at basically no cost," said Anja Bendel, Director of Business Development for Cheyenne LEADS.

"We can finally make it be one property so that we're not dealing with different ownerships," added Bendel. "That way then we can make that property available for economic development and for the development of downtown."

The City Council passed a resolution in late February supporting the redevelopment of the Hynds, which included up to $750,000 to build a parking lot in "the hole."

Bendel says while making parking available for potential tenants is a big component, steps also need to be taken to make the building fully functional and safe.

"In order to bring the building within compliance -- for specifically fire safety, but other codes as well -- there needs to be an additional stairwell and a larger elevator that can handle freight," said Bendel. "That will also have to be situated on 'the hole' property."

"These downtown development projects are difficult," she added. "If it was easy then we wouldn't have this 13 year old 'hole' problem and 30 year old Hynds problem."

Bendel says if all goes according to plan, LEADS should own the property by the end of the month or mid-June.

"We're at a point where our community is stepping in and saying, 'Hey, this is an important project to us, we want to see if we can make it happen,'" said Bendel. "Hopefully we can be that connector to get the final pieces together."

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