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October 10, 2012

New Albany senior living center gets public backing by slim margin

New Albany clarifying intentions for site once planned for River View development


NEW ALBANY — City clarifying proposal for river development

A new request for proposals, or RFP, hasn’t been distributed for the property that was once planned for the River View development because of efforts to refine the city’s involvement in a potential project, Economic Development Director David Duggins told the commission.

Earlier this year, the commission decided to accept new proposals after some redevelopment members cited a lack of progress on the River View development.

The project was planned as a multiuse development with retail, office and commercial space adjacent to the Floyd County branch of the YMCA of Southern Indiana off Main Street. River View also was based on a $12.5 million tax-increment financing commitment to foot a plaza and parking garage to primarily serve the downtown development.

The TIF funds were to be paid back with tax revenue generated by River View.

After more than a year of discussion, it was announced River View would have to be built in phases. Soon after, the commission made its decision to accept new ideas for use of the publicly owned property.

Duggins said the new RFP won’t be circulated until the administration has a firm handle on what the city can afford in terms of any financial contribution as well as what kind of project would best suit the area.

The River View development had been proposed during Mayor Doug England’s tenure.

“We are being very judicious in our examination of the entire area,” Duggins said. “I don’t expect to [release the RFP] until we have a clear picture of what we’re looking for.”

Nonprofit eying Eighth and Culbertson building

Greg Sekula, director of the Southern Regional Office for Indiana Landmarks, told the redevelopment commission Tuesday that the stabilization effort for the Peter Weinmann Building is nearing an end.

The circa 1858 building — located at the intersection of Eighth Street and Culbertson Avenue — was set for demolition before Indiana Landmarks, the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, the New Albany Urban Enterprise Zone Association and the redevelopment commission pitched-in more than $80,000 to purchase and stabilize the structure in December.

Sekula said 15 custom windows have been ordered to finish covering openings on the first and second floors of the building. There’s also more work to do on the entrance way, he added.

“We’re hoping everything will be completed by the end of November, if not sooner” depending on the weather, Sekula said.

He added a nonprofit has expressed a desire in purchasing the building, but that he couldn’t divulge who the entity is yet. He said the Indiana Landmarks board of directors has received a letter from the nonprofit expressing a “strong interest” in the property.

The redevelopment commission provided a $35,000 grant for the project. But if the building is sold, Sekula said any profit would be prorated and divided between Indiana Landmarks and the UEZ.

The UEZ gave $12,500 in money and credits for the project, and Indiana Landmarks initially gave $25,000. Sekula said Indiana Landmarks has since chipped-in an additional $7,500 for repairs on the former store front side of the building.

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