Redevelopment commission to consider purchase of Arcadia Drive property for city’s Department of Public Works

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Columbus Redevelopment Commission on Monday will consider approving a purchase and sales agreement for property to be used as a new public works facility and to free up other property that city officials say could be used for affordable housing.

The commission is planning to buy the 20-acre property at 1350 Arcadia Drive for approximately $2.6 million as city officials say public works has outgrown the capacity at its current 3-acre facility at 740 S. Mapleton St.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission will meet on Monday at 4 p.m. in the council chambers at city hall.

City Director of Redevelopment Heather Pope said the purchase has a three-pronged purpose— to free up the current public works site at 740 S. Mapleton St. for the relocation of the Bartholomew County Highway Department’s salt barn, to support the expansion of public works operations and free up other property for future development.

The former county highway garage at 2452 State St., still owned by the county, is another parcel the redevelopment commission is interested in. It was identified as ideal for future development, specifically for an affordable or workforce housing development, according to Pope.

Since county highway garage operations relocated in 2021 to a new facility, their use of the site is limited to storage and access to the existing salt barn. Pope said the county is receptive to moving their salt barn elsewhere and the commission thought the current public works facility might be a suitable spot, so they could in turn use 2452 State St. for future development.

The purchase and sales agreement includes conditions for the approval, such as a due diligence period which is inclusive of required appraisals, an environmental site assessment, commissioning design and master planning concepts for continue use/reuse and city council approval.

The Columbus City Council must authorize any expenditure greater that $500,000.

For the complete story, see Saturday’s Republic.