Cummins begins Tech Center renovations, pulls demo permits on seven nearby properties

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Cummins Inc. has started renovations at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus that could bring some changes to part of the city’s east side.

The renovations, which began this summer and are expected to continue through the end of next year, mostly focus on the six-story office tower located along Haw Creek, which company officials said has been largely untouched since employees started moving into the facility in 1967.

The idea is to create open, collaborative work spaces and social areas that are similar to other Cummins facilities, including the company’s recently renovated corporate headquarters in downtown Columbus, said Cummins spokesman Jon Mills.

However, Cummins also purchased 10 properties near the technical center for a combined total of roughly $3.23 million from this past November to April, according to real estate sales records.

In July, the company was granted demolition permits for seven of those properties, including four on McKinley Avenue, two on Pencecalla Street and one on State Street, according to Bartholomew County Code Enforcement.

Most of the properties are located across the street from the technical center or within a couple blocks of the facility.

Currently, there is no estimated timetable for when the buildings will be demolished, and Cummins has “no definitive plans” for what they will do with the properties at this point, Mills said.

The demolition permits are valid for two years. As of Wednesday, Cummins had no permit applications on file for those properties with the City of Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department.

“We’re continuing to evaluate different options,” Mills said. “But we what we are committed to, in Columbus and all our locations, is creating a plan that creates the best work environment, creates an area that’s best for the community and the city of Columbus.”

The Cummins Technical Center, which opened in the late 1960s, was designed by architect Harry Weese. It is located at 1900 McKinley Ave. Republic file photo

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