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Housing will be initial focus of redevelopment at Winona site

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City officials plan to begin requesting bids within the next few months to redevelop the abandoned Winona Hospital site where demolition began Monday.

The neighboring Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will play a key role in the redevelopment, which is expected to include residential, commercial and public space.

Acting as lead developer, the museum will hire a master site planner at about the same time the city sends out a request for proposals for the housing component, which needs to be finished by March 2014 to meet federal guidelines.

The City-County Council in May approved the use of $8 million in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds for several projects, including the demolition of both Winona and blighted Keystone Towers.

On Wednesday, the city received one bid to redevelop the Keystone site—a $22 million proposal from local affordable housing developer The Whitsett Group LLC.

Federal rules require neighborhood stabilization projects to include mixed-income rental housing.

The Children’s Museum owns two key parcels near the Winona property at 3232 N. Meridian St.. One is a grass lot north of 33rd Street, and the other has frontage on Meridian in front of the hospital.

The former hospital site is just north of the museum and has been vacant since 2004. The museum controls a total of 19 acres in the neighborhood.

“It’s exciting,” museum CEO Jeff Patchen said of the hospital’s demolition. “It’s such a shame it’s been unattended for so long, but this is a new beginning. We’re thrilled.”

The city took control of the hospital site last year and has written off about $1 million in tax bills. It requested proposals for redevelopment in February 2010, listing the property at $667,500, but no one responded.

City officials, however, are confident the Winona property will draw interest, Deputy Mayor Michael Huber said.

“I think the presence of the Children’s Museum as the anchor institution, and their investment in the property, will be meaningful,” he said.

Construction of the residential portion of the project likely will start sometime next year, Huber said.

Demolition of the site is expected to take weeks. Indianapolis-based Denney Excavating, which handled the Keystone Towers implosion, also received the contract to raze the Winona building. It submitted a bid of $695,289.
 

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  • Mayor Marine Keepin it real!
    Let' not make any commitment and just raise it and turn it into green space for now. Earth to Mayor's office there is excess housing currently. Do not go and blow any taxpayer money. You will of course do that as you are still buying votes so go ahead and do a back room crony capitalism deal with one of your contributors.

    Sell the property to the museum for $350,000 so they can control their footprint and move on down the road.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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