|WCSI Local News|
The Columbus Redevelopment Commission tabled entering a contract with Appraisers, Inc. to appraise the Pump House property located at 148 Lindsey Street at Monday night’s meeting.
Commission members decided to not make any decision because the city owns the building plus the city leased the building to Chef Daniel Orr in July 2011 for use as a restaurant and a brewpub. Therefore, the commission thought the idea of paying for an appraisal should fall in the lap of the city council. The appraisal will give an estimate on the rent and possible sale price but also determine how much money the property could generate. It was going to cost the redevelopment commission $3,500 to have the appraisal done.
Orr, who is only responsible right now for the building’s maintenance and paying insurance on it, has not done anything with the building, but told Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown in a recent email that he still has plans for the building that include a Co-op Market and a smaller restaurant along with a brewery. Commission members say Orr doesn’t have to pay rent on the property until he opens his restaurant.
Mayor Brown replied back to Orr saying the city needs to see a financially viable path and plan to get a retail business going soon. The mayor mentioned to Orr that the property is key to downtown redevelopment, so the city would like to see something up and running as soon as possible.
Orr told the mayor he was concerned that someone had been in the building because he mentioned to the mayor that his alarm system seemed to have been changed. He said he has insurance, but was uneasy about people coming and going without his knowledge.
Mayor Brown replied back to Orr saying that only city facilities experts had been in the building to assess its conditions and were preparing a list of items that needed to be addressed that he would get soon.
The commission says when the conditions at the building were checked, some water leaks were found that could lead to mold forming. It was also mentioned that the heating and air conditioning system was not on either.
In other business, commission members voted to enter into a contract with Administrative Resource Association to administer the grant for the demolition of two of the three buildings at the former Bartholomew County REMC location on Second Street.
The total cost of the project is $106,400. Heather Pope, the city’s redevelopment director, says $95,760 – or 90 percent of the cost – will come from Community Development Block Grants with $10,460 – or 10 percent of the cost – coming from local funds.
The commission also approved to engage the services of August Mack Environmental of Indianapolis to perform a pre-demolition asbestos survey of the administration building and the storage building on the REMC property at a cost of $1,850.
Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown, Arts District Consultant Jayne Farber and Arts District Committee member Karen Shrode presented the Arts District Strategic Plan at the meeting.
Farber says the vision of the plan is for Columbus to become “the cultural and creative capital of the Midwest.” Eight goals are included in the plan which include offering rich urban experiences and diversity downtown, supporting the missing of the IU Center for Art and Design, attract and expand arts education for all students and leverage state tourism programs for the arts.
Several projects are included in the plan. One with the most discussion last night was the much talked about revitalization of the Crump Theater.
Commission member Frank Jerome told Farber he and others on the board were impressed with the presentation, but the “elephant in the room” was the Crump and what should be done.
Farber replied back to Jerome saying requests for proposals to four firms were going to be sent out in a few days and didn’t want to make a decision about what to do with the theater until they get an answer. Farber says they don’t want to see the building not being used. She added that each firm will have 30 to 40 days to respond, then a team will analyze each one before going any further.
Farber says the complete plan will be available on the city’s website and the Columbus Area Arts Council website in the near future so the public will see what’s being proposed and comment on it.
Commission member also agreed that a sub-committee needed to be formed to study further the U.S. Postal Service’s lease renewal at the Jackson Street Parking Garage.
The current five-year lease the postal service has now runs out at the end of September and has no renewal term. The postal service is currently leasing 75 spaces 24 hours a day, seven days a week for an annual fee of $72,000, which breaks down to $80 a space per month.
The postal service is proposing another lease for five years, with a term of one to five years, to start in October and run through Sept. 30, 2018 that will lease the same amount of spaces for the same time period, but would pay an annual fee of $67,500, which breaks down to $75 a space per month.
The proposal also calls for the proposed lease to carry a commission to be paid by the landlord, which is the redevelopment commission, in the amount of three percent of the gross contract of over $10,125, which breaks down to $2,025 annually or $2.25 per space per month.
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 6:52:57 AM
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