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Packed house hears plans for downtown project; Council OKs new riverfront license


Next stop for a $22.4 million plan to revitalize the city's downtown is the Shelbyville Common Council later this month.


That follows a public hearing about the proposal before the city's Redevelopment Commission on Monday evening.


About seven people of the 60 or so attending got up during the meeting in City Hall, 44 W. Washington St., and spoke in favor of the proposal.


One was Doug Cassidy of Bishopp's Appliances, who has questioned the downtown plan in the past.


“I've said this prior to this; if we don't do anything, get right back to, 'this won't work and will this work,' if we don't do; we know what won't work because we're living it. So I think we need to do something, whether it's this or another way, we need to do something. If you always do what you've always done, you get what you've always got, and what we've always got isn't working too well,” he said.


No one in the audience spoke against the downtown development project.


The plan proposed by Ron Kelsay, co-owner of Riverfront Taproom, along with Tim Barrick of Ratio Architects and Chris King of Runnebohm Construction Co., includes:


  • Building executive-style homes in the $400,000 price range on the vacant Major Hospital lot and townhomes across from it on West Washington Street;

  • Renovating the Methodist Building on the Public Square and the Bradley Hall building next door to include upscale living spaces and retail space;

  • Extensive redesign of the Public Square itself and the streets leading into it.


Kelsay, co-owner of Genesis Property Group, the lead developer, stressed that they're only asking the city to fund infrastructure improvements to support the projects.


“So I want to be clear. What is not included in this proposal is the development of the Methodist Building itself; that's a privately-funded project, that's private investment. It doesn't include anything related to the Bradley Hall building, which again is private investment. It does not include any construction of Hamilton-Major homes themselves or the purchase or sale of any of the land related to that site,” he said.


The city owns the old Major Hospital site. Major Health Partners gave the property to the city when the hospital moved to the Intelliplex business park.


Most of the funding the developers are asking the city to provide is for reconstruction of the Public Square, a total of $16,500,000.


The estimate for the parking garage at the Methodist Building is $4.45 million, and the city's cost for the Hamilton-Major housing project would be $1.41 million, according to the developers' proposal.


Combined, the three publicly-funded components total $22,360,000.


Redevelopment Commission members asked a few questions at Monday's meeting but took no formal action on the proposal.


Commission president, Mark McNeely, noted that time was limited since the City Council was due to meet right after. The commission meeting lasted one hour.


The Shelbyville Common Council is expected to hear the public funding request at the council's next regular meeting, scheduled for 8 a.m. on May 20 in City Hall.




City Council OKs new riverfront license for 18 Public Square




The Shelbyville Common Council has approved a riverfront liquor permit for a new business on the Public Square.


Meeting right after the Redevelopment Commission hearing on the downtown plan Monday evening, the City Council voted to grant a riverfront alcohol permit after some clarification as to how to pronounce the name of the business.


Pudders (pron: POO-ders) plans to open at 18 Public Square, according to the alcohol license applicant, Val Phares.


Asked by the council when he hoped to open, Phares said July, but added he still needed approval from the state alcohol board which may take longer.


City Councilmen Brian Asher (R-At Large) and David Phares (R-At Large) abstained from the vote.


In other matters, the City Council approved $306,000 in racino funds for a new trash truck and excavator for the Street Department, and repairs to Hillcrest Drive caused by a water main break.


The council also OK'd racino funding transfers of $50,000 for the Aviation Department and $200,000 for the Parks Department, and a transfer of $325,000 in EDIT funds for debt payments.



CORRECTION - Councilman Rob Nolley (R-3rd Ward), not Councilman Brian Asher, abstained from the vote on Pudders.  The Shelby County Post regrets the error.