Gatke redevelopment will honor Reuben Williams

By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — The future redevelopment of the old Gatke property will honor Warsaw legend Reuben Williams, who fought in the Civil War and helped establish what is today’s Times-Union newspaper.

Rebar Development had initially planned to refer to the mixed-use development as the Gatke Lofts, but that has changed.

That was announced Wednesday at a Board of Zoning Appeals meeting in which a variance was approved for the construction plan that was needed to go forward since the land is zoned heavy industry.

Shelby Bowen, speaking for Rebar, said the decision came after further discussions in the community.

“Not everybody looks fondly on the Gatke era, (concerning) how they left the site, which was in pretty rough shape, so we did some research. RW is Reuben Williams who really is fondly looked at here locally from Civil War on up to being editor of the Warsaw Times,” Bowen said. “We thought that was more appropriate.”

The future development will be known as R.W. Lofts.

Williams fought in the Civil War and went on to be editor of the Times, which later became the Times-Union. Click here for a full recap.

The Times-Union is one of the few — if only — remaining family-owned newspapers in the state and is the only newspaper of its size in the region that continues to print six days a week.

Bowen told the BZA Wednesday night that they’re  moving closer to demolition of the industrial site, which has sat empty for several decades.

The land is south of McKinley Street, north of the railroad tracks that run parallel to Winona Avenue and west of Argonne Road.

He said a series of tests on the property have been completed and that one more awaits.

For a full story on the meeting, click here for the Times-Union article.