News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

July 11, 2013

ISU must wait for downtown housing OK

State Budget Committee postpones vote a month, wants more information on project’s financing

INDIANAPOLIS — The State Budget Committee postponed a vote Wednesday on a request by Indiana State University to enter a long-term lease with a private developer for a downtown student housing project.

Despite concerns expressed by ISU officials that the delay would threaten the project, committee members said the vote should wait at least another month until they get more detailed information on the project’s financing.

“If it’s really a good deal, it will still remain a good deal,” said state Sen. Luke Kenley, a Republican from Noblesville who chairs the committee.

ISU officials were hoping to get the needed approval from the committee to enter into what will be a $33 million lease agreement over 30 years with a private developer, Thompson Thrift, that wants to build a four-story retail/residential building in downtown Terre Haute.

The university wants to lease the top three floors of the building to use for student housing for upperclassmen and graduate students. The developer would lease the first floor for retail use.

ISU officials said they planned to pay about $1.05 million a year to lease the top floors of the building, which would have enough four-bedroom apartments to house 228 students.  

Diann McKee, ISU’s vice president for business affairs, said the project makes sense for the university because it doesn’t have enough housing on campus for students, but also doesn’t have the expertise in putting together the kind of property deal that the downtown project would require.

She also said the project developer had options with property owners that expire Aug. 1, and expressed concerns about property owners who may back out of the deal if the university couldn’t secure approval by state and local officials to move forward by then.

But several state budget committee members, including Kenley, said the proposed agreement between ISU and the project developer was unusual and that they needed more time and information to review the deal.

“I’m not saying I’m opposed to the project, but we haven’t had enough time to review it,” said state Sen. Karen Tallian, a Democrat from Portage who argued for delaying the vote. “I feel like we’re being put over a barrel here.”

After the meeting, McKee said ISU will be back in front of the State Budget Committee in August to ask for the project’s approval again. “We’ll work with them to get them the information they need,” McKee said.

The ISU project was the only one not approved by the State Budget Committee out of more than $100 million in projects it considered Wednesday.

Later, McKee told the Tribune-Star that the project “has been part of our strategic plan since day one. We have been upfront about that” with state agencies.

The Commission for Higher Education did approve the project at its June meeting.

ISU found it beneficial to work with a developer because of the land acquisition issue. “We wanted a retail/residential mix product, and the university has no expertise in running retail operations,” McKee added.

The ISU bookstore has been operated by a third party for more than 20 years, and the university’s dining operation also is run by a third party, McKee said.

She recognizes that the long-term housing lease with a private developer “is a different kind of project than we normally take to the state.”

Paul Thrift, president of Thompson Thrift Development, could not immediately be reached Wednesday for comment.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for CNHI, the Tribune-Star’s parent company. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

Staff report Sue Loughlin contributed to this report.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers
NDN Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Swiftair Loses Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News