Tuesday evening Plymouth City Attorney Sean Surrisi gave members of the Plymouth Redevelopment Commission an update on the project the city will be putting forward for the READI Grant process which will open in mid-August.
Surrisi said there might be an opportunity for the Redevelopment Commission to participate in some of the local matching funds needed. The READI Grants provide 20% of the project while public funds are required to be 20% with private funds making up the remaining 60%.
There are three projects the city plans to submit. The first is the Montgomery Ward Commerce Center. This is an entrepreneur center that was previously proposed for the Old Firehouse. Surrisi said the scope of the project is not defined yet. Marshall County Economic Development Corp. has taken the lead on this project and the new leadership felt the Old Firehouse wasn’t big enough. The city attorney said he’s had discussions with MCEDC and other community organizations that potentially be tenants in the project.
The project could be $1 million and more depending on the amount of area being used. Surrisi said they have been talking with Kevin Berger from Easterday Construction who’s shown interest in being the developer of this project. He also said the City Council had previously committed $240,000 in matching funds when the project was going to be in the Old Firehouse. He will discuss the project with them and see if they are still willing to support the project.
The second project is the Water Street Townhomes. The project is proposed on the west side of the 200 block of Water Street, where the city parking lot is, and would require the acquisition of the two existing residential homes on the block. Surrisi said one of the property owners has shown interest in selling already.
There would be 11 to 13 townhomes with rear parking and street parking on Water Street. Also proposed is a retail unit on the southeast corner of the project. The estimated cost is $3.6 to $4 million.
The final project planning to be submitted is the Yellow River Brewing Company in the old NIPSCO building at the corner of Michigan and LaPorte Streets. The city attorney said the project has been purchased by a local restaurant developer, Harman Restaurants Inc.
Surrisi this project is proposed to be $1.5 to $2 million on the high-end depending on if they have on-site beer brewing operations or if they partner with an existing brewery. When asked about a liquor license the city attorney said if they brewed on-site they would need a brewery license otherwise they could use a Riverfront District alcohol license the city council recently adopted.
The City Attorney said they will be working in the next month to hammer out more of the details for the projects and determine the proposed funding. Applications would be submitted in August, and it is anticipated that grants would be awarded in December. He said Baker Tilly will conduct a cost analysis to determine how much the Redevelopment Commission could support the projects by way of the required public match.
If successful it was proposed that the Brewery would take about a year to complete and the townhouses a year and a half. He said he suspected construction could begin as early as next spring or summer if awarded.