Grain Elevators

Sun-Commercial photo by Gayle R. Robbins | Demolition of the old grain elevators on North First Street could begin next week.

The grain elevators on First Street will start to come down next week, city officials say.

City inspector Philip Cooper went before the Board of Works on Tuesday with a request from Evansville’s Klenck Company, the company hired by local developer Andy Myszak and his team to do the demolition to make way for a new housing development.

Weather permitting, Klenck is set to begin work on Monday, Cooper believes, and they were granted permission from the board to close First Street from Busseron to Broadway streets during regular weekday business hours, or approximately 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The board did ask Cooper, however, to request that Klenck’s crews be mindful and reopen the road in plenty of time for the start of the Farmers Market of Historic Vincennes on that Wednesday and and Oct. 30, if necessary.

The city’s Redevelopment Commission a year ago agreed to pay for the razing of the elevators, and Myszak has said he expects it to be at or even under a previously estimate of $500,000.

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.

Riverview Lofts 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 had hoped to see the elevators razed this spring, but a state Department of Natural Resources 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 themselves.

Myszak only recently go the all-clear.

Myszak's team has undertaken several, similar housing projects across southern Indiana in recent years, including here 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.

In other business, Jon McKinnon with the Vincennes Police Department, informed board members that they recently hired a new officer, Ian McVaigh.

McKinnon said their hope is that McVaigh can start training immediately, but he likely won’t be able to attend the Indiana State Academy until next summer.

The additional officer, McKinnon said, takes the VPD up to “full staff,” or 38 officers.

McKinnon also said the city’s designated Halloween trick-or-treating hours have been set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 30-31.

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