Plans emerge for old Winona

August 14, 2009
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Winona hospitalA few weeks back, IBJ reported on early proposals for the vacant former Winona Memorial Hospital. The five-story property is saddled with about $2 million in unpaid taxes and soon will become public property. So far, two groups have stepped up with ideas: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis wants the city to tear down the building on North Meridian Street and clean up the site so it can build a community park and outdoor learning center. And a private firm that specializes in environmentally impaired properties wants to remove all the asbestos and renovate it into senior apartments, keeping what had been a for-profit hospital on the tax rolls. Both groups expect to make their pitch for the property at 3232 N. Meridian St. after the city takes ownership. The full story is here. IBJ's editorial board weighs in on the issue here.
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  • Honestly, both proposals seem practical and feasible. I'm have mixed feelings for both. I guess I'll just let the best guy win and be happy with it! :)
  • This may be odd, but I wonder if the re-development plan into a private enterprise would really need all that space? Maybe The childrens Museum could scale back their park idea with some less land, and vice versa for the private. That way, taxpayers still get benefit of most of the property being back on the tax roll, we keep the citizens in the community who support and advocate for the Children's Museum happy (as we should, its a tremendous facility. I ran in to out of towners from Boston on their way to Boulder and heard about the CM and stopped by for the day).

    Surely a compromise for all parties could occurr. The taxpayers ultimately win because they get more tax money in the city, use of part of the property by visiting museum, and it cleans up a large distressed area not just along meridian, but also along somewhat unsightly Illinois Street.
  • green space or tax base? hmmmmmm... what a tough choice!!
  • How long do we believe it will stay green space...once the city pays all of the cost of tearing it down the CM will find the capital for an expansion....
  • I agree with Bob. If the CM still has a $220m endowment, their claim that they don't have the money to remediate the buildings is suspect. I always thought it would be part of a CM expansion plan, but a nature park on a constrained block surrounded by an economically challenged inner-city neighborhood does not seem to harmonize that well.
  • I love CM as much as the next person, but DAMN, if Indy does not take advantage of this opportunity, I will honestly consider moving out of Marion County,
  • I think both proposals could be blended together.The seniors don't need the parking and the children would be good for them to enjoy. The city gets the tax dollars and the CM gets another attraction.
  • I am anxious to see how much revenue will be returned to the tax rolls. Not trying to be cynical but I think I have seen this one before (OLD ST V's building).
  • Well, I'm sure it won't be as much as you think to the tax rolls. $2M in unpaid taxes on the property. Those will probably be waived by the city for CM or the developer just to get something moving on it. Then, more than likely if it is a private devleoper, there will be some form of Tax Abatement for this property. So all in all its not going to be that big of an addition to the tax rolls. However, it will add more in forms of payroll tax, etc.

    Why can't there be a compromize for the good of both companies. Does the Private developer really need every square inche of the parcel. Why can't the CM still get a smaller portion of the land to have a scaled down version of their educational outdoor space, and then the Developer pays less for the land, and is utilizing just the space he needs.

    Then it is a Win-WIN.
  • It could be an exhibit - the children can come watch the seniors and the seniors could have some fun mentoring opportunities.
  • Corey,

    How come the NewsTalk Blog has two real estate issues posted??
  • Maybe a local developer would like to take a crack at making a run. Is the City going to issue an RFP?
  • Senior apartments. Sorry, but make the C.M. pay to clean it up if they want it. That organization is not hurting for money!

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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