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Ideas sought in revitalization effort

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A Franklin organization is asking for proposals from developers to renovate a downtown building and could provide tax dollars to help pay for the project.

In fall 2012, the Franklin Development Corp. had promised $775,000 in tax dollars to an Indianapolis developer, who was planning to renovate 97 E. Monroe St. into a cocktail bar and shops on the first floor and upstairs condos. The project stalled in 2013 when developer Indreno ran into problems getting building plans approved by the state. Indreno has since backed out of the project after doing some demolition work inside the building.

The building originally housed the Alexander carriage shop and most recently Padgett photography.

The organization is seeking new project plans for how to use the prominent two-story building. The building is key to redevelop since it is located across the street from city hall and stands apart from other buildings, board members said.

Board members haven’t specified any particular type of business or use they would prefer and also haven’t said how much money can come from the development corporation to help with construction. The organization has less than $200,000 in funds not committed to other projects, plus $558,454 that wasn’t paid to Indreno.

The organization doesn’t own the building but is working closely with the owner, who is still willing to sell it, board president John Ditmars said.

Proposals will be due before the board meets on April 24. Board members plan to have a special meeting in May to hear presentations from anyone who submits a proposal and ask questions before deciding which project, if any, to select.

Anyone with questions can contact Franklin community development director Krista Linke at 736-3631 or klinke@franklin.in.gov.

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