Lynn Walker | Wichita Falls Times Record News

A California developer on Tuesday made an 11th-hour bid to save his $16-million project to turn a downtown high-rise into apartments that cater to MSU students.

Will Kelty went before Wichita County Commissioners to ask for tax abatements for his project at the Petroleum Building at Eighth Street and Scott Avenue, the former home of the Holiday Inn Downtown. He faced a Wednesday deadline to obtain the abatements in order to get financing from a lender. 

Efforts to turn some floors in the 10-story building into housing for college students and the remaining floors into standard apartments has been a financing nightmare for Kelty, who already owns the Big Blue Building and has been involved in restoration of other downtown buildings.

He told commissioners restoration of the property would increase its tax value and bring more revenue to the county, in addition to bringing more living space to downtown. 

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