In a deal brokered by Oliver Smith Realty and Development Company, the downtown hotel developer, Ephant Group, has purchased two properties on the 300 block on Gay Street. They bought the 304 S. Gay St Building and its adjacent lot at 308 S. Gay St. for a total of $7.3 million. The empty lot is planned to become a new upscale hotel. This will become the first new building on Gay Street in 40 years. Ephant Group is also very excited about the 304 S. Gay St. building , which already has a speakeasy and Friedman Lofts housed in it, to be able to maintain its historic foundation.