A new event center is in the works for Logansport with a plan to open in spring 2024.
The event center will include a main gathering room capable of holding 400 guests, a smaller room with a capacity of 60 people and a roof patio that will also hold 60 people.
The Vibrant Event Center will be located next to Riverside Park by the Eel River where the old water treatment plant and power plant was located.
The event center is being built by a group of local investors who make up the Eel River Equity Group LLC. Investors include Sean and Becky Dewitt, Matt and Jen Lewellen, Andrew and Amy Miller, Jon-Myckle and Amy Price and Matt and Katya Swisher.
The cost of the center is expected to run $4.2 million, said Matt Lewellen, president of Steinberger Construction.
The property the event center will be built on was once home to Logansport Utilities and was deeded to the redevelopment commission, said Bill Cuppy, president of the Logansport-Cass County Chamber of Commerce and president of the Cass Logansport Economic Development Organization.
“We have been talking to this group and the deal is the city will provide a parking lot for public and private use,” he said. “In return they are building a privately-owned event center for 400 plus people.”
The deal was approved in 4-0 vote Wednesday morning at the Logansport Redevelopment Commission board meeting, and included $400,500 to help complete the parking lots. Price, a board member, abstained from voting.
Deichman Excavating will begin work preparing the space shortly after this summer’s iteration of Squeal on the Eel, which takes place June 17. After the initial work is completed, the city will relinquish the space to the Eel River Equity Group.
The group said the event center will be focused on hosting weddings, corporate meetings, class reunions, quinceañeras, proms and galas.
“The way we have it laid out it would be able to be applied to multiple styles of events,” said Katya Swisher, owner of Vibrant Events Catering and co-owner of Bonus Pints with her husband, Matt. “We’re just really wanting to have something right now that the community doesn’t have to offer anybody.”
Matt Swisher said the center’s size would exceed anything in neighboring counties. Katya added the group hopes to bring more people to Logansport to support local hotels, restaurants and retail.
“A lot of times now when you have children getting married, you don’t really have a local option and you miss out on all those guests who would occupy a hotel or patronize a local business,” said local attorney Andrew Miller.
“The city saw it as a win-win,” Cuppy said. “There’s parking needed over there. This will suffice that. We will be able to turn it over to a private tax paying group. We’ll see our return on investment in 10 years from now with their property tax revenue. It’s in a TIF area so the TIF area will get the tax revunue.”
TIF stands for Tax Increment Financing and means that property taxes are redirected back into the area to help with the cost of development.
Miller said they will try to use local contractors and local suppliers to the greatest extent possible.
The group began planning the event center in March 2022.
Miller said the group brings multiple professional roles together that will benefit the event center, from catering, banking, construction, accounting and law.
“Anytime you try to make Logansport better, it’s hard,” said Mike McCord, chair or the Redevelopment Commission board. “These individuals are taking their money, putting it at risk, and on behalf of this board and the City of Logansport we thank you for having enough faith in Logansport to do this.”
“This is one private entity of local people coming together and I think it shows there is more pride in Logansport now than I think we have seen in a long time,” said Mayor Chris Martin. “I think this is an opportunity for us to really celebrate that pride and show exactly what we are capable of.”
For more information about the event center visit vibranteventcenter.com.
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