Is this it? Is this the corner that an abandoned, dilapidated, rotting hulk of a downtown Amarillo office building needs to return to life?
A Dallas developer, Tom Pauken, has just foreclosed on the long-abandoned Barfield Building, wrestling it away from its owner who’s said for longer than anyone can remember that, by golly, he’s going to find someone to develop the structure.
Todd Harmon hasn’t delivered the goods. From where I sit, it doesn’t appear that he ever will.
Enter the group headed by Pauken, a lawyer, real estate developer who’s worked with property in Amarillo, former Texas Republican Party chairman — and a longtime friend of yours truly. (I thought I’d throw that last thing in for grins and giggles.)
Pauken leads a group called Henderson Willis Ltd., which has foreclosed on mortgage notes totaling about $550,000 on the building at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Polk Street.
It’s a complicated procedure, but as of today Pauken’s limited partnership has control of the Barfield Building. The former controlling owner, Harmon, so far hasn’t responded to media requests for comment.
Pauken’s foreclosure comes as well after another Amarillo business group sought to develop the Barfield Building, only to have Harmon get it back in some more complicated maneuvering.
What is Pauken’s aim here? He wants to find someone to invest in breathing life back into the Barfield Building. Harmon had gutted the ground floor and a few floors above. Then the work stopped. The ground floor was boarded up and the crews walked away; that was a decade ago.
It has sat vacant, rotting ever since.
Pauken said he believes the Barfield “is a natural” for some sort of redevelopment. Harmon had sought to turn the 88-year-old building into a combination of apartments, retail shops, a restaurant, day spa, bank branch, coffee house — and Lord knows what else.
Enter the Pauken group, headed by someone who’s already had some success redeveloping property in downtown Amarillo.
Can this group do what no one else has been able to do? I am cautiously optimistic my pal Tom can get ‘er done.