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Developer wants $5M from city for Anderson Wigwam overhaul

May 8, 2016

Developers planning to revamp Anderson's closed Wigwam gymnasium are looking for $5 million from the city to get the project moving.

Leaders of Indianapolis-based BWI LLC (Black and White Investments) told the Anderson Redevelopment Commission that the money is needed to secure an additional $6 million by selling tax credits to investors.

BWI chief executive Gary Hobbs said the company needs a commitment from the city by this fall, with the money transferred by February.

Initial work is set to begin this summer on the $42 million project overhauling the 9,000-seat gym that's been closed since 2011, The Herald Bulletin reported.

Plans include converting part of the complex into affordable housing units while maintaining the gym. Housing and retail space is also planned for an athletic field next to the gym.

The redevelopment plan was approved in August 2014 by the city Redevelopment Commission and the Anderson School Board.

The gym was built in 1962 when Anderson was at its economic height with General Motors and other companies employing some 27,000 people in auto industry jobs that have nearly vanished from the city. The only larger high school gym in the country is the Fieldhouse in New Castle.

BWI, founded in 2005, specializes in urban-focused affordable housing.

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