A timeframe for tearing down the old grain elevators on First Street to make way for a new housing complex is finally taking shape, the developer, Andy Myszak, said Monday.
The development team got its “letter of concurrence” from the state Department of Natural Resources, Myszak said, and the 45-day waiting period that was to follow has already commenced.
He expects demolition to begin in mid-October.
Myszak is leading a team set to construct a 32-unit apartment complex, dubbed Riverview Lofts, on the banks of the Wabash River as well as 22 new single-family homes on empty lots throughout the city.
He had hoped to see the elevators razed this spring, but a DNR process to complete archaeology studies at the sites for the 22 homes held up the entire project.
The federal tax credits Myszak and his development team secured to fund the $9.4 million endeavor came with several stipulations, and when state officials saw that the elevators on First Street were listed as "contributing" to the integrity of the city's Historic District, the process got even more complicated.
Myszak in October of last year received an all-clear from state historic preservation officials to proceed with Riverview Lofts, but that approval turned out to be only part of a much longer process.
The major delay has been in meeting criteria set forth by DNR's division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology on the 22 lots.
But with the go-ahead now in place, Myszak's team must now advertise their development plan and wait the appropriate 45 days. If there are no objections, he said, the office of Indiana Housing and Community Development will issue a letter officially releasing the funds so work can begin.
“So that letter, that's what we're waiting for,” Myszak said.
Seeing those elevators finally come down, Myszak said, will be the portion of the project everyone likely notices. But simultaneously, foundations for the 22 single-family homes will be poured around the city.
Myszak's team already has the contractors in place and ready to begin just as soon as he's given the green light.
Once they get started, Myszak has said to anticipate a year of construction before the properties are complete. It's likely to be early 2021 before they are leased.
“It' very exciting news,” he said.“I'm just ready to get this rolling.”
Riverview Lofts, when complete, will include 22 income-based, 1-bedroom units and 10 market-rate units on its top floor as well as a rooftop terrace for tenants.
The 22 single-family homes, too, will be rental properties and all income-based.
Myszak's team has undertaken several, similar housing projects across southern Indiana in recent years, including the transformation of a former downtown school building into Clark's Crossing, a more than 40-unit senior affordable housing complex at 300 N. Sixth St. in 2015.