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Developers detail elements of downtown makeover

 

On May 6, the Shelbyville Redevelopment Commission and the City Council are due to take up Mayor Tom DeBaun's $22.4 million proposal to revitalize the city's downtown.

 

At a special meeting of the commission Wednesday morning in City Hall, 44 W. Washington St., the mayor described what he'll be asking for.

 

“So basically, so what will happen Monday is that we will make a formal presentation, accept public comment at that time, and have that opportunity as well. The presentation will be more involved, more in depth, flashier, if you will, for that meeting. The only thing we'll be asking for is the approval of the Redevelopment Commission to move forward with further budget development,” DeBaun said.

 

The mayor noted that the Shelbyville Common Council has already allocated money in the city budget from the racino fund, and he'll be asking for the OK to spend those funds for the preliminary design.

 

Once that design is done, they'll come back to the commission and council with a budget for approval.

 

As of now, the city's contribution, as stated in the developers' written proposal, stands at $22,360,000.

 

That's what the three private developers have asked the city to put in for the project.

 

The developers listed in the proposal include GM Development Companies LLC, in Springport, Indiana; Bill Poland and Ron Kelsey, co-owners of Genesis Property Development Inc. of Shelbyville; and Ratio Architects of Indianapolis.

 

At the special Redevelopment Commission meeting Wednesday, commission members got a chance to hear from the developers about the plan which has three parts:

 

  • 13 executive homes on the old Major Hospital site on West Washington Street and a townhome building across the street from that location

  • Renovation of the Methodist Building on the Public Square into upscale apartments in the upper floors with retail on the ground floor

  • Complete redesign of the Public Square itself to include open plaza areas in the four corners and rehabilitation of the nearby streets entering the Square

 

The developers also plan to purchase the Bradley Hall building next to the Methodist Building and develop retail space there on the Public Square side.

 

To city's contribution of $22.4 million would be used for:

 

  • Infrastructure improvements at the Major Hospital site and demolition of an existing building owned by Major Health Partners to make way for the proposed townhomes;

  • A parking garage, with lower, main and second floor levels, to go in behind the Bradley Hall and Methodist buildings

  • Extensive reconstruction of the streets and sidewalks in and around the Public Square

 

Purchase price of the MHP building for the townhome proposal is not included, according to the written plan submitted by the developers.

 

Ron Kelsay of Genesis Property Group is also co-owner of the Riverfront Taproom brewpub in Shelbyville.

 

He told the Redevelopment Commission the projects should lead to other development downtown.

 

As we all know, there's a lot of empty, very nice, with a lot of character and architecture, buildings but they're largely empty. I spoke to one building owner who's an out-of-town investor who bought the Knights of Pythias building for the same reason we bought the Methodist – they'd like to redevelop it. But, you know, they're on hold because you don't want to redevelop something in a, you know, dead-end area,” Kelsay said.

 

As for a timeline, the developers described their proposal as a “phased project” with the parking garage and Hamilton-Major housing development to happen first, followed by the street and sidewalk reconstruction of the Square starting in June 2020 to July 2021.

 

Rerouting traffic will be critical, they said, to reduce the impact on existing businesses and residents.

 

The Shelbyville Redevelopment Commission and Common Council are due to meet and take public comment on the proposals starting at 6 p.m. on May 6 in City Hall, 44 W. Washington St.

 

A copy of the written proposal is available in City Hall for the public to review.

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