While downtown Cummins Inc. workers will get a new garage in which to park their vehicles next month, almost 200 new apartments and several retail shops could be ready for the entire community by the end of next year.
Cummins will open its 350-space parking garage during the second week of September, according to company spokeswoman Janet Williams. The structure is east of the Cummins corporate office building and stretches from Sixth Street to Seventh Street.
While the garage will be reserved exclusively for company employees, Williams said it will be open to the public free of charge during special weekend events such as festivals and parades.
For the next four weeks, crews will work on landscaping and the façade so the garage will visually blend in with the downtown architecture, Williams said.
Meanwhile, developers Richard and Janeen Sprague are moving ahead with their plans to establish new shops and upscale apartments on the east side of the garage at Sixth and Washington streets.
A November or December groundbreaking is being considered, according to Judy Hoovler, Sprague Co. director of new construction. Once the actual work gets under way, she expects the project will be completed in less than one year.
“So far, it looks like it’s going to be a multi-use building,” Hoovler said. “We’re going to have some commercial space on the first floor. The rest will be 40 to 45 residential units.”
When the project first was announced in December, the Sprague Co. anticipated a four-story structure at a cost of $4.5 million. Their plans called for one- and two-bedroom apartments that would rent for between $900 and $1,200 per month.
“Things could change,” Hoovler said. “Right now, we’re going through preliminary plans, looking at options, filing for variances and working with city planning.”
The Spragues have developed a host of hotels around the state, including those in the Edinburgh area. Cummins agreed last winter to sell the property to the Columbus-based developers, in order to provide more housing opportunities to the company’s new downtown workers.
Hoovler said the apartments in the Sprague project will have a different feel and appearance than The Cole apartments, which are being built around the parking garage at Third and Jackson streets.
“It’ll be a nice addition, especially to the north end of the downtown corridor,” Hoovler said.
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