CHARLESTON - The Grand Palace soon will become a grand parking lot.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker signed the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority's eminent-domain order, giving the agency the property upon which the Grand Palace is located.
Formerly Charleston's biggest gay bar, the Grand Palace is located on Brooks Street near Appalachian Power Park.
The Emergency Ambulance Authority had the building condemned and now are intent on turning it into an 80,000-square foot parking lot.
The last issue left is how much money the county will spend on it.
The property is currently assessed at more than $164,000, and former owner Hershel Layne, who says he will run for Mayor of Charleston next year, will demand compensation. Attorney Mike Clifford, a former Kanawha County prosecuting attorney who now is in private practice in Charleston, has called the county's $140,000 proposal "ridiculous" and is representing Layne.
Clifford reportedly said he would file papers in Kanawha Circuit Court this week petitioning for a higher price that will be more than the county's appraisal.