Insurance firm plans new HQ

McGowan Insurance Group SiteMcGowan Insurance Group plans to build a new 19,000-square-foot headquarters on a triangle-shaped property at 340 N. Capitol Ave. where an ealier proposal called for 30 condos and a bank. The $2.5-million project would be built on a formerly state-owned parking lot between Indiana Avenue, Capitol Avenue and Vermont Street, behind the Bourbon Street Distillery. The city’s Metropolitan Development Commission will consider preliminary approval of a six-year property tax abatement worth about $186,000 at a hearing Wednesday. The company plans to add 13 employees and retain 31 who now work at Market Tower. “We believe in the city, we love this city,” Hugh McGowan, Jr., a senior vice president, told IBJ’s Chip Cutter. “We can see that part of downtown maybe developing more and we kind of want to be a spark plug to help it develop.” McGowan explored headquarters options in the suburbs, but decided to stay downtown after the city offered an abatement. Construction is slated to begin in mid-2009. No design has been set, but the building should face both Vermont Street and Indiana Avenue, McGowan said.

UPDATE: The building likely will be about three stories tall, McGowan said. The insurance company bought the property from Hearthview Residential, which earlier had proposed the condo development.

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