Transformation continues for Vine StreetMarch 12, 2018
By LEANN BURKE
JASPER — Driving Vine Street between 12th and 14th streets, motorists will see a lot of torn up ground.
That’s thanks to Cincinnati-based Miller Valentine Group and the Vine Street Lofts senior housing project that’s been taking shape in the area for over a year.
The roughly $12-million private development is repurposing the old Jasper Wood Products building, 1316 Vine St., into 62 apartments for people age 55 and over.
Miller Valentine Regional Manager Cheri Steele expects viewing on the apartments to open in August or September. Right now, she said, crews are finishing the installation of drywall on the building’s second story and preparing to begin work on the first floor.
Just down the road from the construction site at 1300 Dewey Street stands Jasper Lofts, Miller Valentine’s other development in the Vine Street area. Jasper Lofts houses 67 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom workforce housing apartments in the old JofCo headquarters. The development opened in the spring of 2017, and families began moving in in August. By Dec. 31 of last year, Community Manager Brianna Mullis had all 67 units filled.
“That’s insanely quick,” she said.
She’s currently sitting on a wait list for the apartments.
As workforce housing, rent at Jasper Lofts is determined on a sliding scale based on income, and family income must not exceed qualifying amounts for a family to live in the development. The amount is determined based on how many members a family has. More information can be found at yournextplacetolive.com.
Both developments received incentive packages from the City of Jasper, and Jasper Lofts was awarded $1,199,705 in state tax credits through the Internal Revenue Service’s Rental Housing Tax Credit Program, which the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority administers.
Out-of-town developers aren’t the only ones taking an interest in the Vine Street area.
Jasper resident Todd Fromme and some of his tenants created The Vine, 1280 Vine St., by repurposing an old Indiana Furniture building Fromme owns into a multi-business space.
Fromme purchased the 90,000-square-foot building in 2014 to house his manufacturing business, Universal Technologies. Since his business uses just over a third of the space, Fromme decided to build out spaces in the building for other businesses as well.
The Vine currently houses seven businesses, with a handful of others in talks with Fromme. In the last few months, Fromme said, he’s done several tours with small companies, but no papers have been signed yet.
Most of the work on The Vine is interior, so passersby on Vine Street won’t see many changes. Fromme is restoring the outside windows, but otherwise, he said, the exterior will remain the same.
“In some ways, we’re going to be the ugliest building on Vine,” he joked.
Next door to The Vine at 1110 Vine St., another building Fromme owns, Machine Solutions opened a technical center where local companies can demo the latest technology.
Machine Solutions serves manufacturers in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Ohio, offering factory production technology, service and support.
The company held a soft opening in October and plans to hold a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 28.
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