Local News

Public hearing set for major downtown projects

On May 6, Shelbyville residents will get to have their say on a multi-million dollar effort to rejuvenate the city's downtown.


The Shelbyville Redevelopment Commission has voted to hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. that day on proposals to renovate the Methodist Building, 29 Public Square, and build executive housing on the former site of Major Hospital.


City attorney Jennifer Meltzer, who is also director of the Redevelopment Commission, made the request to the commission Monday evening.


“The final item that's in front of you is a proposal that the Redevelopment Commission received when we sent out a request under Indiana Code 5-23 which we proposed and adopted at our last meeting. And this is a proposal that we asked for economic development in Shelbyville, and we received a committee of Sam Terrell, and Mayor DeBaun, Matt House, the city engineer and David Finkel, who's our Board of Works rep, and they've submitted a recommendation to move forward with this proposal with the understanding that it's going to be financed through economic development dollars,” Meltzer told the commission members.


A property tax levy will not be used to pay for the project, she added.


Indiana Code 5-23, that Meltzer mentioned, governs the use of public-private partnerships, also known as P-3 agreements, between governments and private businesses to carry out public initiatives.


Ron Kelsey, co-owner of the Riverfront Taproom in Shelbyville, and business partner Bill Poland have purchased the Methodist Building from former owner Mitch Genser of Purple Vetch Properties in California.


Following the meeting, Poland said their plans include housing in the upper floors of the 5-story building, and retail space or restaurant for the ground floor.


A parking garage built by the city in the adjoining Bradley Hall building has also been discussed.


When Genser of Purple Vetch Properties acquired the Methodist Building in 2013, the city gave him a loan of $285,000 to assist in refurbishing the building.


Giant FM asked the mayor after the meeting about the status of that loan.


Again, as I've said consistently, I think the majority of those dollars were spent on due diligence on that building. I know that at one point in time we had talked about it being a forgivable loan. When you look at the money that was spent on asbestos abatement, remediation, as-built drawings and things like that, that's the majority of where those dollars went. So my anticipation is that at some point when this project kicks off that that'll be forgiven,” DeBaun said.


For the old Major Hospital site on West Washington Street the city now owns, Chris King, a vice president at Runnebohm Construction, has proposed building 13 executive-style homes on the lot.


King owns and is remodeling the former Hamilton House right next to the site, and plans to live there.


His request to the city for funding includes infrastructure improvements at the vacant lot. He's also asking the city to purchase and demolish a building across the street at 157 W. Washington St., now owned by the hospital, to use as a site for a townhome-style development.


A letter regarding the “Hamilton Major Place” project is posted on a Facebook public group called “Let It Out Shelbyville Indiana.”


The document states the expected to cost the city will be about $110,000 per year over 20 years, a total of $2.2 million.


Prior to the May 6 public hearing by the Redevelopment Commission on the two proposals, the developers are due to make a presentation about their plans to the commission at 10 a.m. on April 24.


Both meetings are to take place in City Hall, 44 W. Washington St., and both are open to the public.