Saturday, September 20, 2014

LaCasa working on final details to acquire Hawks building

LaCasa is still arriving at a decision for what to do with one-third of the former factory on Goshen's Mill Race Canal.

Posted on Jan. 20, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 20, 2014 at 2:03 p.m.

GOSHEN — The long and arduous process of transferring the Hawks building from the Goshen Redevelopment Commission to LaCasa control is nearing an end, with the agency hoping to take full control of the property in March.

LaCasa plans to renovate the building, utilizing the southern two-thirds as apartments and work space for entrepreneurs and artists.

Details about the northern third are still up in the air at this point, according to Alan Greaser, LaCasa’s vice president of real estate.

Greaser said the agency hopes to close on the building in early to mid-March, with plans to begin renovations a few weeks after.

There are a few things that need to be completed yet before the sale closes and LaCasa takes over the property completely.

LaCasa needs completed construction documents and a final contract with a builder, Greaser said. The agency will select a construction firm through a bidding process.

He said environmental cleanup will need to be wrapped up and financial details are also being completed.

“Part of the process is making sure that all the stakeholders are satisfied with all the documentation,” Greaser said.

The redevelopment commission agreed to donate the property to LaCasa in June in order to increase the agency’s odds of securing outside funding for their project.

The building property has already undergone a significant transformation.

Environmental mitigation efforts have been, and continue to be, made and a non-historical addition to the original building has been demolished.

Greaser said construction and renovation will likely begin in early April.

The first phase of the project will feature 35 units for artists and entrepreneurs to live and work in. Units will be spread through all three floors of the structure.

The building’s exterior will also receive some attention by way of brick repair and cleaning.

Greaser said LaCasa expects construction of the apartment phase of the project to take approximately one year.

He said they’ll begin marketing units before work is completely finished and hopes for the first tenants to begin moving in the spring of 2015.

Despite the lengthy process, Greaser said the project hasn’t really experienced many delays.

“I’d say we’re within 30 days of what we would’ve predicted nine months ago,” he said.

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Updated at 12:11 a.m.
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