News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 1, 2013

Housing opens proposal period for center

Future of former Warren school comes into focus

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The future of Deming Center, a low-income apartment building downtown, should become clearer in the next few months.

The Terre Haute Housing Authority, which oversees the eight-story building, will ask developers this month for formal proposals regarding the future of the building, said Jeff Stewart, executive director of the authority. The goal is to have a good idea about the future of building by the end of the year or January at the latest, Stewart told the Housing Authority board of directors meeting Monday night.

“A number” of developers, both local and out-of-town, have expressed interest in the building, Stewart said.

Currently, Deming Center includes about 109 apartments. Its tenants are expected to move out near the end of 2014 and into a new facility on North 25th Street at the site of the former Warren Elementary School. Inside the old school, renovation work has started, including removing walls, floors, “stuff in the basement” and even the large smoke stack outside, Stewart told the board.

There were six fireplaces inside the old Warren School, Stewart said. Those will not be used in the renovated facility, he said.

The shell of the old school, which operated from 1917 to 2000, will be preserved in the renovations. However, new wings will also be added, according to current plans.

In September, the Housing Authority board awarded Thompson Thrift the contract to renovate the school into approximately 109 apartments. The construction costs are expected to reach about $11 million.

Meanwhile, the Housing Authority recently secured the tax credits to fund most of the project, Stewart told the board, chaired by president Patricia Parker-Zaikovsky. State tax credits can be sold on the open market to institutions and business entities with taxable income. Sales from such credits will pay for most of the work at Warren Village.

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