8-year tax abatement approved for old Terre Haute YMCA revitalization project, second vote needed

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Thursday, the Terre Haute City Council approved a tax abatement which could clear the way for the old YMCA building to be revitalized.

Since 2006, the old YMCA building located at 6th and Walnut street has sat vacant.

“The building’s on the 10 most endangered historic buildings in the state of Indiana. Which means it’s very close to not being able to be saved,” said Kevin McDonell, VP of development for Commonwealth Companies.

Wisconsin-based Commonwealth Companies, known for restoring historic buildings, has plans to turn the old YMCA building into affordable apartment units, while keeping the building’s historical significance.

“It’s going to be more costly than if we were to build a new 34 units, like the 34 units that are going in but you end up with such a unique development at the end. It’s important for our communities to preserve that history,” McDonell said.

In June, the project hit a roadblock after the Terre Haute City Council voted against a 10-year tax abatement for the property, which council members say was due to a lack of information.

“I think that had to do with some questions people had about the method that had used to come up with their numbers,” said Martha Crossen, Terre Haute City Council president.

Thursday, an 8-year tax abatement was approved. Crossen says she believes now is the time to act to save a building that has meaning to many community members.

“I think if we’re going to save this building, we need to not let it sit empty much longer because it’s just going to continue to deteriorate. So, I’m excited that there’s the possibility to have this investment in our community,” Crossen said.

The abatement for this project must be confirmed with a second vote by city council in October.

In June, it was the second vote that caused the 10-year abatement to be denied.

McDonell says if things goes as planned, they hope to break ground in November.

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