Work begins on downtown mixed-use development project

Construction equipment is being moved into place for the beginning of the city's downtown mixed use development project. Photo by Mike Wolanin | The Republic

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Work has begun on the downtown site for the city’s mixed use development project.

Property at the southeast corner of Second Street and Lafayette Avenue has been fenced off, and construction equipment, such as excavators, could be seen at the site as of Monday. Deron Kintner, general counsel with the developer, said this past weekend that contractors were likely to begin construction that same day.

According to Redevelopment Director Heather Pope, city officials expect an official groundbreaking next month.

The development will include approximately 200 market rate apartments and an urban grocer facility. The estimated cost of the project is about $40 million, with developer Flaherty & Collins paying about 71% of the cost.

The city agreed to invest $11.8 million into the development under the project agreement, according to Bruce Donaldson with Barnes & Thornburg. City officials have said in the past that the development’s property tax dollars will reimburse the city for its contribution. The Columbus Redevelopment Commission also committed to selling property for the development at minimal cost to the developer.

Mayor Jim Lienhoop said in his State of the City address delivered in mid-February that completion is scheduled for sometime in late 2023. Pope said in late January that utility relocation was expected to begin in February, with construction starting in March. Kintner stated that construction would likely take about 20 months or somewhere in the range of a year and a half to two years.

“All replatting has been completed and recorded,” said Pope at Monday’s commission meeting. “A soil management plan for the former Bob’s Car Wash site has been approved by (Indiana) Brownfields. And if anyone came in that way today, you saw the construction fence is now up, so things are taking place. And we are anticipating a groundbreaking around mid-April, so stay tuned.”

For the complete story and more photos, see Wednesday’s Republic.