Work progressing at former Wagon Works site

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HUNTINGBURG — Work has been progressing on the workforce housing project at 319 N. Washington St. in Huntingburg.

Contractors have been working at the site since mid-July, and has the foundation down and the plumbing installed for the four buildings that will be on the site.

“You had a wet summer down there,” said Gary Ritz of Paragus, the Indianapolis company that is developing the site. “So we had a lot of delays initially, because the site was too wet.”

The $8 million project that will produce 56 housing units on the former Wagon Works site has been progressing since.

“We’re in the process of putting in the storm sewers, and then we will be bringing in the utilities to the site,” Ritz said. “That is the work that is currently happening now.”

Ritz doesn’t believe the weather will delay construction.

“If we do, it would be for a short period of time. We expect be able to work through the winter,” Ritz said. “Your winter construction weather in Huntingburg is generally better than winter construction weather in Indianapolis, and almost always better than the winter construction weather for Fort Wayne, for example. And we have built in Fort Wayne before where we have built right through the winter with no delays.”

The wood for the buildings will be delivered to the site around the first of the year. “So you will see the wood framing start going up in early 2020,” Ritz said. “You’ll see a lot of activity going on on the outside, with the framing going up. And then that work will turn to the inside, with a lot of the work occurring on the inside of the buildings.

“But here in the next 30 to 45 days, you’ll see a lot of change from the outside.”

Once completed, the Wagon Works development will have four buildings: three apartment buildings and a clubhouse. The complex will have 28 studio, 24 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments in three housing units on the site. 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.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority granted the development $794,541 in rental housing tax credits, mainly due to Huntingburg being one of the state’s Stellar Communities. Huntingburg has granted the project a 100% abatement for 10 years.

“We expect to have the first apartments ready for occupancy in the spring,” Ritz said, “The first apartment building should be done in May, and the second one should be done a month or so after that, and the third one will be done later. We expect the entire job to be done in October of next year.”

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