ELKHART — Two major demolition projects in Elkhart are within six months of happening if everything goes as hoped.
Barkley Garrett, director of economic development who oversees brownfield projects for the city, said an application for federal money that would be used to demolish the Schult Warehouse on South Main Street will be submitted this week and a decision on whether the money will be awarded to the city could be announced next month.
Garrett provided an update on the project to members of the city redevelopment commission Tuesday and also won approval to use city funds for the matching portion of the grant program
The commission approved an appropriation of $55,000 from a tax increment finance fund to use toward the project, which could ultimately cost more than half a million dollars.
The city is seeking $495,000 through a federal program known as OCRA – Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
If approved and a time table proceeds as expected, demolition of the huge structure could happen as early as January 2015, he said.
Another major project involving the old Federal Press building at 511 Division St. is moving with more certainty and could happen sooner, he said.
The city sought unsuccessfully to obtain money for the Division Street project through OCRA and will now use local TIF dollars to fund the demo project, he said.
That project is expected to cost more than $200,000.
The city has hired a construction management firm to prepare bids for the demolition and oversee the work.
The old factory on Division could be knocked down in September or October, Garrett said.
Garrett also told the commission that testing continues at 700 W. Beardsely Ave., the site of the old Walter Piano building, which was torn down in February 2013.
A firm hired by the state of Indiana to assess contamination levels on the property had made recommendations for cleanup, but the state is seeking additional testing, Garrett said.
He told the commission that a snow fence will soon be erected around the contaminated area, which is in the northern third of the property
He downplayed the type and suspected levels of contamination.