Lease agreement for Gatke project moving forward

Warsaw city attorney Scott Reust (L) gives Mayor Jeff Grose the oath of office Friday for the Board of Public Works and Safety. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
By David Slone

WARSAW — A resolution involving the former Gatke property and a future mixed-use development lease, which already went through the Redevelopment Commission and Common Council, was approved by the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety on Friday.

It’ll go back before the Redevelopment Commission for a public hearing and final approval of the lease on Monday, and there will be an Economic Development Commission meeting on it next week.

The Board of Works is the entity that controls all the property owned by the city more or less, Warsaw Community Economic and Development Director Jeremy Skinner said,

“Since we are leasing some of that right-of-way, this resolution more or less needs the Board of Works’ approval to lease that said right-of-way, i.e. Market Street in this case,” he said. “So this resolution is just you saying, ‘Yes, we give permission to lease that Market Street right-of-way as part of the Gatke bond issue.’”

The bond issue is not to exceed $3 million, but Skinner said it probably will be around $2.4 million.

Councilwoman Diane Quance, a member of the board of works, asked what was meant by leasing a right-of-way.

“So you have to have something tangible as a mechanism to lease,” Skinner said. “You have to have that right-of-way, i.e. Market Street in this case. Kind of like what we did with the airport. We leased all the roads out at the airport as part of that bond issue, so that when you go to market, you have a tangible item that they are basically putting money up for. In theory, you can’t really sell Market Street, right? But, in terms of legalese, this is how it works.”

The Gatke mixed-use development project includes at least 74 residential units and some commercial space. To be called RW Lofts, the estimated cost of the project is about $20 million, with the city’s share being the bond issue, the state providing $4 million in tax credits and the developer — Rebar Development — providing the remainder by cash and loan.

Bond financing is expected to occur by March, with the project slated to start sometime this year.

In other business, the board approved:

• Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory’s request to enter into an agreement for financing the new 100-foot rear-mount aerial platform ladder truck for $1,812,636.

• A three-year lease agreement with OrthoWorx for space on the third floor of City Hall.
The first year of the lease is for $2,250 per month; second year, $2,317.50 per month; and the third year is $2,387 per month.