Glen and Kay Lynn Gonzenbach of Henrietta have purchased the former Citibank building located at 111 S. Main St. with plans to donate the adjoining lot to the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce.
The lot, which is part of the Citibank property, is home to the chamber of commerce office, located inside a Burlington Northern caboose at 202 W. Omega St.
“The chamber has evolved into a definite presence for Clay County as a result of strong leadership and steady membership growth,” said Kay Lynn Gonzenbach in a statement from the chamber of commerce. “Glen and I are extremely pleased that the HCCCC will own their piece of downtown Clay County.”
Kay Lynn Gonzenbach served as chamber president in 2011.
Since moving into the caboose, the chamber has had a long-term, low-payment lease agreement with Citibank and other businesses formerly located in the bank building.
The Gonzenbachs made attempts to purchase the lot from Citibank over a period of two years in an effort to gain ownership of the lot for the chamber. Kay Lynn said the response was always the same, “We’re not interested in selling at this time.”
In late April, Citibank announced it would close its Henrietta Branch. On May 11, the branch consolidated with a Wichita Falls branch and the building put up for sale.
When the closure was announced, Kay Lynn Gonzenbach contacted Citigroup, the parent company for Citibank. This time, Citigroup was open to discussion, but not interested in splitting the property. With the long-awaited opportunity in the balance, The Gonzenbachs made a bid on the chamber property and the building.
Citigroup accepted, though dealing with the corporation was not easy. Purchasing the building was a five-month process delayed by personnel changes, committee presentations and approval, corporate attorneys, as well as the usual negotiations. The Gonzenbachs were awarded the sale of goods and will gift the land parcel to the HCCCC upon completion of the chamber’s 501c6, which is being handled by local attorney Lonny Morrison.
At this time, the Gonzenbachs have no plans for the former Citibank building.