Thrive Alliance receives grant to renovate

An extensive upgrade to the Armory Apartments, a senior living facility in downtown Columbus, will get underway early this fall.

Renovations at the southwest corner of Seventh and Franklin streets will be funded through a $1 million state grant announced Tuesday.

The money, awarded by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Association, will be spent to improve the 25-unit facility on a number of different levels, according to Thrive Alliance, which manages the apartments.

One key improvement will be to the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system to make the 92-year-old building more energy efficient, said Mark Lindenlaub, Thrive Alliance executive director.

Another objective will be to upgrade each unit to accommodate the changing needs of residents as they get older and face more physical challenges, Lindenlaub said.

Additionally, enhancements to the entry area and security systems will create a more energy-efficient and secure environment for the residents.

The building served as the local National Guard Armory from 1925 to 1968. Afterward, it was used as an Ivy Tech State College training facility, and then for social services offices.

But by the time it was acquired in 1995 by Housing Partnerships, Inc., which is now part of Thrive Alliance, the building had been sitting empty for three years and was scheduled for demolition.

Following a $2 million renovation, the Armory Apartments began renting apartments to low-income seniors starting in February 1997.

The downtown location has been popular with many residents because it’s near a variety of services that include the library, restaurants, churches, retail stores and banks.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.