Tenants move into River Centre apartments

Photos by Kayla Renie/The Herald
Margaret Shalter of Jasper, left, watches her son, Will Shalter, of Nokomis, Ill., center, and her son-in-law, Daniel Hall of Jasper, help set up her mattress as she moves into her new apartment at the River Centre in Jasper on Wednesday.


JASPER — Margaret Shalter is looking forward to being near her family and becoming part of a new community. Her late husband passed away last year, and her children, Rebekah Hall of Jasper and Will Shalter of Nokomis, Illinois, wanted Mom close by.

After traveling across the country for two weeks, Margaret, who was born in Indianapolis and has lived in Illinois and most recently Arizona, finally settled into her new home in Dubois County on Wednesday.

She may build or buy a house in the area one day. But for now, she is happy to be one of the first tenants officially moved into the new apartments at the Jasper River Centre.

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“I really want to get to meet people,” Margaret said Monday as Will and her son-in-law, Daniel Hall, helped move her mattress. “And this, I felt, was an ideal place to meet people, too, in the community.”

Residents began moving into the new development’s apartments a couple of weeks ago. So far, about 20 of the 76 available spaces have been leased. Two businesses — a local gym and brewery taproom — are set to open in the coming months, and leadership is optimistic that the other available commercial spaces will fill now that construction is complete.

A view of one of the common areas at the River Centre in Jasper on Wednesday.

“We don’t have them locked down, but we have a lot of interest now that we’re done,” Jane Hendrickson, owner of Boxer Girl, the River Centre’s developer, said of businesses looking at moving into the buildings. “We’re starting to show. I’m feeling good about it.”

Leslie Tegmeyer, the development’s property manager, detailed how the pandemic has affected the centre’s launch. Many virtual tours have been given, and the new community’s grand opening celebration has been pushed back to the end of July.

“Things have slowed down a little bit, but [are] still moving forward,” she said of the effect the pandemic has had on operations. “We still had people interested that had put their names on apartments, and they’re all in. People are still showing the same interest. It’s just we’re having to be more creative of how we’re showing them units.”

Those units range from studios to two-bedroom living quarters, and cover 20 different floor plans. The costs of the spaces range from $550 to more than $2,200, depending on the layout.

As for the businesses, which will be located on the ground level beneath the apartments, FitFuel Nutrition + Fitness + Cryotherapy will open in a 6,000-square-foot space on July 6. St. Benedict’s Brew Works, a popular brewery based on the grounds of the Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, is set to open a taproom that serves food and beer near the end of July.

An outdoor eating area continues to undergo construction at the River Centre on Wednesday.

The businesses that will fill the remaining spaces have not been announced, and the exact number that will be housed in the development has not been determined and is dependent upon how the space is broken up.

Hendrickson explained that the pandemic caused difficulties in bringing in supplies and equipment, but she also noted that construction never shut down. Pitching the spaces to new businesses was a challenge in recent months because expansion wasn’t a top priority, she said.

But now that the state is reopening, and rough-ins and other work are complete in the available spaces, Hendrickson is optimistic.

“I think what we bring to the table with the new construction is the efficiencies, and the ability for them to be in smaller spaces if they want,” she said of the River Centre’s layout, which includes a common corridor that interconnects the businesses.

The building was constructed from the ground up by Krempp Construction of Jasper. Other local businesses were also tapped for materials.

Businesses interested in occupying retail space at the River Centre or readers wanting to rent an apartment are encouraged to contact Boxer Girl at 317-670-6329. More information can also be found at jasperrivercentre.com.

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