About two years ago Garner approached the city about expanding the national register district in the downtown commercial district. Part of his request was for a project on Water Street that needed that designation in order to obtain a liquor license. The process was so long that the city attorney suggested a local district for the one building. While that happened the project fell through.
Kurt Garner told the city council, “Now two years later the state is about ready to pass this district expansion to include the south side of Washington and Garro Streets on the east of Michigan Street, incorporates the whole block wrapping around Water Street including the former NIPSCO building at the southeast corner of Michigan and LaPorte Streets.
Garner said the expansion isn’t very large and all property owners in the district will receive a letter of notification. He noted that there are no requirements in the National Historic Registry District while it is a good economic development tool with rehabilitation tax credits for buildings in the district.
The state will review the expansion next month and then the National Park Service will make the final determination in May or June. Garner anticipates it the distinction will pass both the state and federal criteria.