Wabash Stellar Communities projects expected to meet November 2018 deadline
By Mackenzi Klemann for the Wabash Plain Dealer | Indiana Economic Digest
Construction on all projects receiving grants or tax credits through the City’s Stellar Communities designation is expected to be complete by November 2018, with all grants set to close before the end of the year, according to the latest Stellar quarterly report.
The lone project that will still be underway come 2019 is the Eagles Theatre renovation, which has been split into two phases in order to comply with the Stellar program’s 2018 deadline.
The first phase of that project will restore the building’s historical features, such as the fourth-floor ballroom and the facade.
Interior demolition has been underway on all floors of the building, including the basement. Windows, walls, balcony seats and the theater’s marquee sign have all been removed since demolition started.
The Eagles is not expected to reopen until sometime in 2019, according to the HoneywellFoundation’s renovation website. But Phase I construction will be finished before that time.
Stellar-related funding covers a small portion, or $2.2 million, of the renovation’s $7 million budget.
Specifically, those Stellar funding sources include a $1.7 million historic preservation block grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, a $200,000 facade restoration grant and $1.3 million from the City of Wabash.
Other highlights from the report:
Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program
The second and final phase of the Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation program, which provides financial assistance for homeowners to remove lead paint and make other structural improvements to their homes, is now underway. Applications were accepted last fall with the intent of assisting 12 homeowners, according to the latest quarterly report.
Representatives with grant administrator Region IIIA met with the City in December 2017 to prioritize applicants for the second phase of the program, the report says. An environmental review process started shortly after to inspect 17 homes that may receive funds.
The first half of Phase II construction is expected to be complete by April or May, while the remaining homes are expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
13/15 Corridor improvements
Bids for this project are expected to be let this month with construction starting sometime in April and running through November, according to the quarterly report.
The final fundraising push is underway right now through Patronicity, an online crowdfunding site. If the Inclusive Playground Committee is able to raise $50,000 by March 29, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority will contribute a $50,000 grant. The campaign has raised $20,726 as of Thursday afternoon.
Playground equipment was ordered before the end of 2017, a decision which is estimated to have saved the committee about $20,000, according to the Stellar quarterly report.
Construction will begin once the fundraising phase is complete.