December 7 – Property acquisition is milestone in Warsaw city center project | Fwbusiness
WARSAW – A major real estate acquisition in Warsaw is set to help increase the supply of housing for needed labor in Kosciusko County.
The Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) and the City of Warsaw announced on December 7 the acquisition of the former Owens grocery store in downtown Warsaw. The effort was city-led and is supported by the KEDCO Housing Initiative.
“Our team is working with local partners to encourage the development of additional workforce housing near major employers,” said KEDCO CEO Alan Tio. “We are excited to support the city’s vision for the reuse of this site as a catalytic project that will lead to additional opportunities across the county. “
The project is part of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grant proposal, which targets $ 50 million to fund such transformative projects.
According to the proposal, “As a result of the project, this vacant and underutilized downtown commercial area would be transformed into a four-story mixed-use development comprising approximately 150 market-priced apartments, 15,000 to 20,000 square feet of space. commercial space and a 300+ parking space.This operation, which represents the most important downtown development undertaken by the city of Warsaw to date, would support the density of employers in the medical device and agribusiness sectors who are recruiting outside of the Warsaw region.
“… The proposed development will generate approximately $ 500,000 to $ 600,000 in additional property tax revenue per year, and approximately $ 115,000 in annual parking garage revenue.”
KEDCO launched its housing initiative in response to a housing market potential study commissioned by the Kosciusko County Community Foundation (KCCF) and the Kosciusko County and City of Warsaw governments, which predicts a potential market for approximately 2,000 new residential units in Kosciusko County by 2024..
“The housing market study has shown us that there is market potential to double the production of market-priced housing in our community,” said Warsaw Mayor Joe Thalemer. “We know, thanks to leading employers like Zimmer Biomet, that access to housing is also an issue of recruiting and retaining the workforce. “
A proposal from Zimmer Biomet was selected by the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority’s Workforce Housing Demonstration Program in 2019 to establish a revolving loan fund for workforce housing of $ 2 million. This fund grew with $ 2 million from KCCF’s “Working Together” initiative which was made possible by a GIFT VII grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. in 2020.
“We know that Kosciusko County has a bright future and that we will be able to address today’s childcare, housing and workforce challenges with local solutions,” said Stephanie Overbey , CEO of KCCF, “We look forward to seeing more projects like this come together to support the development of workforce housing.
KEDCO is finalizing a development agreement with a regional development team for a mixed-use project at the former Owen site and will work throughout the winter with the development team, the City of Warsaw and other local partners to finalize the project plans.