Downtown building owner seeks tax break for $2M renovation

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The owner of a vacant building on the northern outskirts of downtown is planning to spend $2 million to renovate the dilapidated structure and is seeking a property tax abatement from the city to help offset costs.

Tresor LLC owns the two-story building at 1221 N. Pennsylvania St., just north of Interstate 65, and has lined up growing architecture firm Guidon Design Inc. as a tenant.

Guidon President Luke Leising, a former Army Ranger, started the firm in 2011 with two employees and has grown it to 30. In 2016, Indianapolis-based  Guidon was recognized by IBJ as one of the area’s fastest-growing companies, registering revenue growth of 219 percent from 2013 to 2015.

Guidon currently is located at 905 Capitol Ave. and would move to the building on Pennsylvania Street as part of its plans to add 14 employees within the six-year abatement period.

Built in 1960, the 22,400-square-foot building currently sports an unattractive blue façade and has been vacant for more than 30 years. Plans from Tresor call for converting much of the first floor into parking for 32 cars, in addition to 2,000 square feet of office space, and offering 12,200 square feet of office space on the second floor.  

The city’s Department of Metropolitan Development estimates Tresor’s $2 million investment will add $937,200 of assessed value to the tax base. During the six-year abatement period, Tresor can expect to save $86,191 in property taxes while paying $53.545.

Guidon, meanwhile, expects to retain 30 employees at an average hourly wage of $33.60 and add 14 employees at the same salary.

Guidon is certified as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business and an Indiana Veteran Business Enterprise.

The firm’s projects include the state’s new $90 million, 159-bed mental-health hospital, the Indiana Neuro-Diagnostic Institute at Community Hospital East. Guidon also has worked on several VA hospitals and had a part in the design of the new transit hub downtown.

The Metropolitan Development Commission is slated Wednesday afternoon to consider Tresor’s request for the tax abatement.

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