Warsaw will support apartment projects with bond issues

From left, city attorney Scott Reust and Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer are seen during Monday night's city council meeting. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — Two future apartment projects in Warsaw will see significant investment from the city.

Both the Gatke lofts on McKinley Street and the Millworks apartments where Owen’s grocery store once stood will rely in part on money provided by the city using two separate bond issues.

Exactly how big those bonds will be remains uncertain. The bond amount for the Millworks project will be in the neighborhood of $2 million.

The bond issue food the Gatke project is expected to be around $1.5 million, according to Jeremy Skinner, the city’s Community Economic Development Director.

The city is also providing about a million dollars in parking and sidewalks for the Millworks project, which will bring 72 market-rate apartments to near downtown.

The Gatke lofts will have about 80 apartment units – also market rate.

The cost of both apartment projects is expected to be $20 million each.

The growing demand for affordable housing has collided with increasing construction costs in recent years. Without assistance from the city, the projects very likely would not be happening, according to Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer.

City councilman Mike Klondris said the city contributions essentially serve as seed money and noted that the state agencies are also doing more to support workforce housing across the state with additional money – much more than they had in the past.

In both cases, the bonds will be repaid by the city using tax increment finance dollars that are derived from improvements in the immediate area.

Both apartment projects were announced this year and will both include some commercial use.

On Monday, the city council approved an agreement with the developer of the Millworks projects to move forward.

Above is a preliminary drawing of what the Millworks apartments could look like. Photo provided.