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River Race building proposal shrinks to meet Goshen residents' concerns

All-American Homes' controversial proposal to redevelop the River Race area along Goshen's millrace canal will be the topic of conversation at Goshen's redevelopment commission meeting Tuesday afternoon, but the negotiated proposal may calm many concerns.

Posted on June 7, 2009 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on June 7, 2009 at 4:52 a.m.

GOSHEN -- All-American Homes' controversial proposal to redevelop the River Race area along Goshen's millrace canal will be the topic of conversation at Goshen's redevelopment commission meeting Tuesday afternoon, but the negotiated proposal may calm many concerns.

The proposal that came out of months of negotiations is far smaller than the original one offered early in the year by All-American, an Elkhart-based subsidiary of Coachmen Industries.

The new proposal calls for All-American to buy only 6.7 acres of real estate from the city for a total of $224,000. That real estate is all between the canal and the alley west of Third Street, from Douglas to Monroe streets.

It leaves out the Hawks Furniture building, for which the commission is seeking separate bids. It also leaves out the street department site west of the canal, though instead of park space, that could be left as the street department. Some historic homes near the Hawks building are also off the table.

If the redevelopment commission approves, the plan commission, the board of zoning appeals and the Goshen City Council would also have to sign off on aspects of it.

Here's a look at some of the details of the revised proposal.

All-American will:

* Put in multi-family housing clusters, up to 112 housing units in seven clusters (each cluster will have no more than 16 units). They'll be a maximum of three stories high.

* Build a bike path on the east side of the canal.

* Build streets, street lights and fire hydrants within the development. The city will then take over maintenance.

* Offer photovoltaic roof panels, thermal roof panels for water heating, foam wall insulation and sustainable floors, counters, cabinets and lighting to all purchasers of homes and will build all homes to the requirements of Energy Star Qualified Homes.

The city will:

* Finish environmental cleanup of the sites.

* Clean up and maintain the millrace canal.

* Maintain bike paths on both sides of the canal.

* Run a water and sewer main to the site, but All-American will build pipes to the lots.

* Reconstruct and widen the alley west of Third Street.

* Plant trees to block the street department site from view of the new development.

* Assume the risk of loss until All-American starts construction, at which time it takes over all loss.




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