‘Square Deal’ adds to the value of Logansport’s housing, downtown
We’ve invited Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell to share information from the city in a monthly update on CassCountyOnline.com.
Former President Teddy Roosevelt once spoke at the corner of Seventh and Broadway, and a local school built there later was named in his honor.
In addition to being depicted on Mount Rushmore, one of his legacies was the Square Deal, a plan that pre-empted his cousin Franklin’s New Deal in the 1930s.
Logansport has its own Square Deal thanks to our efforts to redevelop the Logan Square Office Building, formerly known as the Captain Logan Hotel, into market rate apartments. A year ago, two people in Logansport who have lived here for years told me we weren’t going to be able to get market rate housing for that building. A year later, two developers have sought to purchase and renovate the building for market rate housing. One of them, FRG Management of Lafayette, purchased the 45,000-square foot building for $285,000. We appreciate the efforts of Christy Householder, Cass County’s economic development representative, who initiated the contact with FRG.
Bill Cuppy, our economic development director for the city, formulated an incentive package which has been approved by the redevelopment commission and recommended for a vote by the city council Sept. 11. If the vote goes as anticipated, FRG will invest $3.2 million in the property. That will increase the assessed value of it from $290,700 to $1.5 million – a return on our investment of more than 5-1. The Square Deal calls for $160,000 cash infusions from both the commission and city through Tax Increment Financing and County Economic Development Income Tax dollars. A shortened tax abatement schedule will allow the project to give the city a return on its investment between the seventh and eighth year after the work is completed. Additionally, the project will generate not only construction jobs but between 16 and 24 permanent jobs in the building.
If that deal is approved Sept. 11 by the city council, expect construction to begin soon. New windows, roofing, tuckpointing, landscaping, improvements to the parking lot and possibly a mural on the east side of the building are in store for the property.
That wasn’t the only good news we had last month. Memorial Hospital raised $118,000 in one evening at its gala as it continues on pace to meet its fundraising goal for a new cancer treatment center. More than 100 people attended the event which was a good night for Logansport and Cass County. Hospital officials recognized the city and county for commitments of economic development funding for the project.
Our ad hoc solar committee met for the first time, and a second meeting Sept. 6 will continue the planning for a solar field on Logansport’s west side at the former Trelleborg plant. Chairman Dave Morris is spearheading the effort, and we’re finding the interest in this project involves several potential parties.
Our parks department master plan survey stage is over, and the process now moves forward with plans to complete it after interviews and discussions with city officials.
Our efforts to redevelop the mall continue with discussions involving its owner and broker. We are hopeful that one of the two parties interested in redeveloping it will be the final answer we are searching for to resolve questions about its future.
Last month, I was fortunate to be asked to appear at two events in Indianapolis. I was one of eight Indiana mayors at the Indiana Latino Expo Breakfast asked by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett to speak on the progress of our multicultural efforts. More than 100 people attending applauded twice during my remarks – once when I mentioned our new multilingual city Web site and again when I related our Spanish immersion language program in our elementary schools.
Superintendent Michele Starkey, Bill Cuppy and I also attended the 30th anniversary of Indiana’s sister state relationship with the People’s Republic of China. I was honored to be one of four members who, along with Gov. Eric Holcomb, met with the Chinese consul general from Chicago and the secretary of the province. Several bilateral trade agreements with Indiana and China were signed and we may have further dialogue with Chinese officials about expanding local industries abroad or expansion of Chinese business here.
Finally, our month has been a busy one in part because of our ongoing efforts to make the former Marsh stores in Logansport new oasis in the food deserts created by the closures. Both Bill and I have been actively involved with prospective new owners. I’m optimistic that at least one store will be filled soon.
We appreciate the work that retiring Police Chief Brad Rozzi has done, as well as the work of our Street Department which has been especially busy this summer with all our paving projects.
It’s an honor to serve as your mayor and I appreciate the community’s support and willingness to work with us. If you have an idea, a comment, a question or a concern, please call us at 753-2551 or e-mail us at email@example.com.