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City will use grant money to raze Federal Press building

A building on Division Street will be demolished.
Posted on Nov. 13, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Editor's note: This story was revised Thursday, Nov. 14, to correct references to the name of the business that had occupied the industrial facility being demolished by the city of Elkhart. The correct name is Federal Press. The Elkhart Truth regrets the error.

ELKHART — Look for another industrial eyesore to be razed soon in Elkhart.

The city has been notified that it will receive $230,000 to demolish the old industrial property located at 511 Division St.

The money comes from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and is the same agency that covered much of the expense of tearing down the old industrial property at 700 W. Beardsley Ave.

The facility, east of Monroe Street and southeast of the downtown, has sat vacant for 12 years and was last used by Federal Press as a foundry and metal fabrication facility. The property was acquired by RG Division Real Estate Inc. in 1993 and was used as a welding shop from 1993 to 2001, according to information provided by the city.

The factory sits between the historic State-Division neighborhood and Elkhart Central High School.

As was the case with the Beardsley property, the agency found the circumstances on Division to be an appropriate use for the grant money because of the proximity to the school and homes, said Barkley Garrett, the city's director of economic development who oversees brownfield projects for the city.

City officials are in the midst of hiring an engineer and could choose one in December. After that, a demolition company will be selected and the building could be removed in March, Garrett said.

Mayor Dick Moore said work through the redevelopment commission will result in the transformation of the property from an industrial eyesore to a future asset.

He predicted it would become “a great property for redevelopment” and thanked neighbors for their patience.

The upcoming demolition is the latest in a string of similar projects.

Under the Moore administration, the city has removed the Elkhart Foundry, LaBour Pump, LJ Press, the Beardsley facility, Bergerson Screw Machine and the Elkhart Armory.

“This demolition of another blighted property in Elkhart is an example of the momentum present in renewing our downtown, our neighborhoods and our industrial areas,” Moore said in a prepared statement.

Officials have already determined the property is free of any environmental contamination, meaning the property will be available for redevelopment more quickly, Moore said.

The redevelopment commission is in the process of acquiring the land from RG Division Real Estate for about $28,000, Garret said.

The building appears to be structurally sound. But the roof is in serious disrepair and the building has outgrown its usefulness, Garrett said.

“It's not conducive to modern manufacturing,” he said. “The ceilings are too short and the columns are too narrow.”




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