Irvington group’s plan for historic building reduced to rubble

November 18, 2013
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The Irvington Development Organization’s plan to restore the former post office building at the corner of Washington Street and Ritter Avenue disappeared into a pile of rubble Sunday.

Irvington post office
                              225pxStrong storms that blew through central Indiana toppled much of the historic structure, which had withstood the tests of time for 110 years.

“It was a horrible night, just to watch and wait for the machinery to show up [to take the rest of the building down],” IDO Executive Director Margaret Banning said.

High winds blew out the east and west walls of the two-story, 2,400-square-foot building, leaving little to salvage.  

Built in 1903, the structure had not been used as a post office for years and had been slated for demolition in 2012. It had been vacant since 1997.

But IDO and the Irvington Historical Society bought the building and were in the process of stabilizing it to attract a commercial buyer.

The groups raised $12,000 and received another $50,000 grant for the work.

Steel supports were scheduled to be delivered Monday, a day after the storms, and façade work was set to begin in the spring. IDO also had planned to install a new roof on the building.

Now, Banning is left to wonder whether to sell the lot or rebuild. The building was insured, she said.

“We knew it was a risk,” she said of the decision to buy the property. “But who knew we’d have these horrible winds?”
 

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

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