Overview of the project.

Overview of the project.

The River Centre development in Jasper will begin to take shape as the developer takes steps to ensure several city projects move forward.

Representing Boxer Girl LLC., Bill Kaiser, a partner at Bingham Greenbaum Doll LLP, informed the Jasper Redevelopment Commission of an upcoming agreement the developer will seek with the city to support six projects around the estimated $26 million development.

Those projects are:

  • The creation of River Road and the necessary adjustment to the adjacent railroad. River Road will run from 1st to Third Avenue between the existing former Jasper Cabinet building and the railroad tracks.
  • An agreement for use of two nearby city properties to develop parking lots to service the proposed multi-use development.
  • The creation of the river steps, an aesthetic feature on the bank of the river downstream from the Riverwalk bridge over the Patoka River.
  • And the extension of the Riverwalk to the rear of the property.

A rendition of the river steps included in the Jasper Downtown + Riverfront Master Plan.

A rendition of the river steps included in the Jasper Downtown + Riverfront Master Plan.

Kaiser said the developer will be seeking a memorandum of understanding with the Jasper Redevelopment Commission to secure tax increment finance funds to pay for bonds to complete the projects. In October of 2015, the Jasper Common Council approved a resolution to create a tax increment finance district encompassing the property and some city property adjacent to it.

Boxer Girls’ plans will turn the abandoned factory site into a hotel, office and retail space and apartments. The group announced in 2015 that construction on the site should begin in 2017 with completion slated for 2018. The presentation of the River Centre is available at the end of this article.

Initial plans included the development of 36,000 square feet of commercial and office space on the first floor of the Jasper Cabinet building. The top two levels of the building will be used to create 75 one- and two-bedroom apartments. A separate hotel created through a partnership with General Hotels Corporation will feature 80 to 100 rooms.

According to Kaiser, the development will not be impacted by the library referendum for the nearby Hoosier Desk property at the corner of Mill Street and Third Avenue.

“I believe River Centre will become an economic catalyst for downtown and the Riverfront and I believe River Centre will become an important destination for Jasper, Dubois County and the region,” Jane Hendrickson, owner of Boxer Girl LLC., told the council in 2015.

Some city-owned property will be turned into parking to support the developement.

Some city-owned property will be turned into parking to support the development.

According to City Attorney Renee Kabrick, the developer has taken the steps to procure approval from state and federal agencies like the Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Over the next month, they will be seeking zoning approval for the multiple uses of the property at the upcoming Jasper Plan Commission meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 610 Main St.

Final approval for the memorandum of understanding is expected to be in front of the redevelopment commission at the next regular meeting on Tuesday, November 1 at 8 a.m.

The redevelopment commission also took the following actions:

-Heard of a grant opportunity available through State Farm. Debbie Keusch Allen came to the city to notify them of the opportunity for a $25,000 grant for the Downtown Redevelopment project. Allen assisted in the application which has been completed and the city expects to hear the result of that by the end of October.

-Approved a $5,000 payment to financial advisers H.J. Umbaugh and Associates of Indianapolis for annual services.

by Matthew Crane on October 4, 2016