News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 1, 2012

City to sell ‘surplus’ northside park

Indiana development company plans to build skilled nursing/assisted living facility on site

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A north-side city park may soon be converted into a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility designed for “baby boomers.”

Mainstreet, a Cicero-based real estate development company, is looking to construct a 75- to 80-bed skilled nursing/assisted living facility near Union Hospital on property that is currently known as Memorial Park, a city-owned public park.

This summer, the Terre Haute Board of Public Works and Safety declared the park “surplus” property, allowing the city to place it up for sale.

City officials have stated they expect the sale of the 5.7 acres to bring the city approximately $1 million. Mayor Duke Bennett has stated that the sale of unspecified city property would provide $1 million to help balance the city’s flagging general fund.

Tim Cook, an attorney representing Mainstreet before the Terre Haute City Council Thursday night, would not comment on a possible sale price.

The sale of the property is not required to go through an open bidding process because the project is deemed an “economic development project” that will fit in with surrounding property uses, said Cliff Lambert, executive director of the Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment, which is helping facilitate the property sale.

Sale prices in such cases are determined by averaging multiple appraisals, city officials have said.

Memorial Park is southwest of Union Hospital. Established in 1907, the park includes volleyball courts, a lighted softball diamond and, near Third Street, a playground.

North Fourth Street divides the park. Mainstreet is expected to ask the city to “vacate” that single block of North Fourth Street – between Seventh and Eighth avenues – later this year.

Mainstreet is seeking a 10-year real property tax abatement on its investment in the new facility, which is estimated to be around $10 million, according to an economic impact study provided by Mainstreet. The abatement would save the company about $750,000 over 10 years, Cook said.

The new facility would employ nearly 100 people at rates 5 to 10 percent greater than the market average for those positions, he said.

Mainstreet, established in 2002, is one of the fastest growing companies in America, according to the Inc. 500/5000 list. It has also been noted as one of the fastest growing companies in the Indianapolis area by the Indianapolis Business Journal.

The company currently owns or co-owns 13 senior health care centers in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. A third party would operate the actual services provided in the facility, Cook told the council.

Mainstreet specializes in senior living facilities that would appeal to baby boomers, according to information provided by the company. Its facilities offer single rooms with significant facilities outside of the rooms to encourage residents to spend most of their time away from their rooms. The facilities include restaurants, theaters, pubs, coffee shops, pool rooms and more, Cook said.

More than half of the residents in the facility would be short-term rehabilitation residents staying between 15 and 35 days, Cook said.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com