GAY OIL BUILDING: Plan to raze it apparently no longer operative.

The deal to sell the historic Gay Oil Building at Third and Broadway to a developer hoping to raze it and build a car wash apparently won’t go through.


Joe Carter, a business executive who heads the LLC that owns the building, responded to my e-mails yesterday about the scheduled closing on the property this week.

When I asked about plans for closing Monday, he responded:


No closing has occurred.  I have no plans to demolish the building.

I asked if that meant the contract to sell was no longer in force. He responded:

I have signed a Termination of Contract Addendum provided to me by Real Estate Agent.  I do not know if the other party has signed it.

The Arkansas Times first reported this deal was in the works Sept. 17. Zene Enterprises LLC had a pending request before the Planning Commission for approval of its car wash. Opposition immediately arose. Former Mayor Mark Stodola called on owners to save the building and a petition campaign gathered hundreds of signatures in opposition.


I’ve been unable to reach representatives of Zene since a brief phone call in writing the first article. Its original application was withdrawn after city staff noted it didn’t include required documents on a contract for sale of the building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

City directors expressed some concern about the project at a City Board meeting last night. City Manager Bruce Moore said the sale hadn’t closed and Carter’s responses to me fill in more of the background.