Construction to start on $8M workforce housing


HUNTINGBURG — Construction of the workforce housing planned for Huntingburg should start next month.

The $8 million project will produce 56 housing units on the former Wagon Works site, located at 419 N. Washington St.

Paragus officially purchased the ground on May 31, Gary Ritz of Paragus, the Indianapolis company that is developing the site, said in a voicemail message Friday.

“We expect that the development will begin around the first of July,” he said.

The Wagon Works project was originally estimated to cost $5.8 million and construction was going to start last December. That changed after an environmental study done last fall showed that the soil bearing capacity of the site was poor. The project had to be redesigned to make the foundation thicker than originally planned, Ritz explained previously. The redesign caused the project to be delayed from its December start to what Ritz says will be next month.

The redesign and a subsequent increase in construction wages contributed to the overall cost of the project increasing to $8 million.

Plans call for 28 studio, 24 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments in three housing units on the site. There will be an additional building on the site that will have a community room. The site will have bike racks, a fenced dog-walking area, a picnic area, a parking space for each apartment and on-site management. Each apartment will have curtains or blinds; a porch, patio or balcony; a garbage disposal; dishwasher; and hookups for cable and for a washer and dryer.

Rent has been estimated to be between $230 and $390 for a studio apartment, $470 to $530 for a one-bedroom apartment and $600 for a two-bedroom apartment. The smaller studio apartments will be 468 square feet and the larger ones will be 572 square feet. The smaller one-bedroom apartments will be 728 square feet and the larger ones will be 832 square feet. The two-bedroom apartments will be 936 square feet.

Residents will be responsible for their own utilities, which is just electric, and the owner will provide trash service.

The dollar amount of rent for the apartments and tenants’ income are limited based on state standards for the state tax credits. Restrictions attached to receiving the credits also dictate that an apartment can have only two people per bedroom. So, the number of people living in a studio or one-bedroom is limited to two people and the number allowed to live in a two-bedroom apartment is four people.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority granted the development $794,541 in rental housing tax credits. Huntingburg has granted the project a 100 percent abatement for 10 years.

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