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Gayle Benson interested in buying iconic Chris Owens club

Tenants have been moving out in recent days, in anticipation of a sale.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson is interested in buying yet another famous symbol of New Orleans: the Chris Owens Club on Bourbon Street.

“Mrs. Benson is currently looking at buying the piece of property, but she hasn’t purchased it,” said Benson’s spokesman, Greg Bensel. “She’s always been interested in it because of her relationship with Chris Owens. She’s looking at investing in the property and bringing it back into commerce.”

The club at 500 Bourbon St. closed and went on the market when iconic performer Chris Owens, its owner since the 1950s, died in April. The property drew immediate interest from potential purchasers.

It includes small apartments on the floors above the nightclub. Commercial real estate expert Gordon McLeod, a producer with The McEnery Co., told WWL-TV in April that the property would need to be brought up to code if it is sold.

Tenants have been seen moving out in recent days, in anticipation of a potential sale. Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation spoke with WWL-TV on condition of anonymity and said Owens’ family – the current owners – has been paying those tenants to move out early.

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