GOSHEN — A new wrinkle could be added to the downtown scene as soon as next spring after the Redevelopment Commission passed a resolution Tuesday, Sept. 10, approving an agreement with Goshen Brewing Company for the lease and development of the former NIPSCO building at 315 W. Washington St.
Jesse Sensenig plans to turn the building, located near Interra Credit Union at the north end of the Millrace Canal, into a brew pub of sorts, offering craft beers and food.
He said the location is ideal, as it would be easily accessible, and the surrounding environment could provide for events such as bike-in movies, small beer festivals and brewery tours.
“I aim to bring a community brewery and gathering place that creates distinct ales and food for the community,” Sensenig explained.
Sensenig will lease the building for $50 per month initially, before the cost eventually tops out at $1,000 by November 2018.
As part of the agreement, he will make repairs and add fixtures to various elements of the building, including the installation of new, energy-efficient windows, repair of the outer brick, installation of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and construction of a kitchen, among other things.
The redevelopment commission made several commitments as well.
Those will include maintaining insurance coverage on the building and fixtures for damage due to fire or wind, removal of any asbestos discovered during remodeling and the costs of running a 600 amp phase three electrical service through the building, among several others.
The agreement also offers Sensenig the option to purchase the building for $95,000, but only after the required repairs are completed and the brewery has invested at least $200,000 in the repair, rehabilitation and equipment. The agreement stipulates that the option to purchase will expire on Dec. 31, 2018.
If all goes smoothly, Sensenig said he’d like to have the brewery and restaurant open by April or May of 2014.
The brewery was just one of the topics of discussion at Tuesday’s meeting.
The commission also discussed the grant opportunities available to the city in helping to enhance safety at railroad crossings in the hopes of eventually establishing a quiet zone along the Norfolk Southern Railroad Marion branch.
Recently, the city has applied for several Federal Highway Safety Improvement grants to make safety improvements at six crossings, including at New York Street, Burdick Street, Jackson Street, Plymouth Avenue, Reynolds Street and Purl Street.
If all the funds applied for are granted, the federal funds would cover 90 percent of the costs needed for the improvements, meaning the city would have to fund an estimated $175,000 for the projects.
City engineer Mary Cripe said the improvements would likely take place in phases, but if all are taken care of, the city would then likely qualify for the establishment of a quiet zone along that route.
Much of the work, however, hinges on the final selection for the re-routing of U.S. 33.
While the Indiana Department of Transportation is currently leaning toward a north connector route, they have not yet set it in stone. Cripe said that no party will commit to any costs until a final decision is made.
Still, the improvements of those crossings are within reach, and with it an eventual quiet zone, which Brownfield Coordinator Becky Hershberger admitted was once just a “dream project” within the scope of the larger Ninth Street Corridor plan.