A board helping Logansport battle blight opened on Friday 16 proposals including 35 offers for 26 empty lots that formerly dilapidated houses once stood on.

The structures were demolished through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority's Blight Elimination Program.

The Logansport Municipal Building Corp., which oversees the city's participation in the program and takes ownership of the properties that are demolished, offered 34 empty lots for sale last month.

The request for proposals issued regarding the properties called for a minimum purchase price on each property of the lesser of $3,000 or closing costs. It also called for proposals for single-, two- and multi-family housing or structural improvements or additions to existing structures.

Logansport Clerk-treasurer Stacy Cox opened all 16 of the submitted proposals at a building corporation meeting on Friday, Oct. 6.

Fourteen of the proposals were submitted by the deadline of 3 p.m. Oct. 5, all of which were from adjacent and nearby property owners, a social services organization and an Indianapolis development firm.

Two of the proposals were late and one of the on-time proposals was determined at the meeting to be incomplete. Building corporation members Mercedes Brugh, Dave Morris and Tad Wilkinson decided to consider offers for properties from those proposals if the properties didn't already have offers from proposals that were on time and complete.

Indianapolis-based Crestline Development recently announced its intention to apply for tax credits to fund the development of 30 to 40 single-family houses in Logansport on Blight Elimination Program lots and other lots the city owns.

Crestline Development's proposal opened Friday indicated it's seeking 20 of the offered lots at $3,000 per property, but did not include the lots it's seeking.

Dan Hubbard, who works in Crestline Development's tax credit department, said at the meeting that he forgot to include the list of properties the firm is seeking but provided the addresses to the building corporation verbally and said he'd follow up with the proper paperwork.

Fourteen of the properties Crestline Development is seeking did not receive any other proposals. Six of the properties the firm is seeking received other proposals that were submitted on time, all from adjacent property owners, including 301 W. Linden Ave., 518 Bates St., 1306 Wright St., 823 Race St., 1524 Treen St. and 1314 Chicago St.

Crestline Development's proposal was the only submission for multiple properties.

The other proposals included offers of the lesser of $3,000 or closing costs along with offers ranging from $100 to $3,250. They included plans for extra yard space, garages, sheds, off-street parking, space for a handicap ramp off the side of an adjacent house, sheds, fruit trees and fruit bushes.

The property at 1206 E. Broadway was the only property outside of six of the ones Crestline Development is seeking to draw more than one proposal submitted on time. It drew two, both from adjacent property owners.

Peak Community Services, which services clients with developmental disabilities, submitted a proposal for the lesser of $3,000 or closing costs for 1427 Erie Ave. The organization's proposal, read by Cox, indicated it wouldn't seek housing for the lot but instead use it for business purposes, which could possibly include the future expansion of its sheltered workshop that provides work for people with disabilities.

Another proposal was submitted for 1427 Erie Ave., but it was late.

The property at 102 Eel River Ave. received proposals from two nearby and adjacent property owners, but one of them was late.

Building corporation members said next steps include evaluating the proposals to determine if they meet the requirements outlined in the RFP, site visits and weighing the proposed plans.

They intend to meet again and make a decision at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10 in the Council Chambers on the third floor of the City Building, 601 E. Broadway.

The building corporation offered 33 empty Blight Elimination Program lots last year that drew only one proposal from a Cincinnati development firm for 11 properties. The firm's application for tax credits to help fund the developments was denied, however.

Cox said after Friday's meeting that this year may have drawn more proposals because more time was allowed between issuing the RFP and its deadline. She said her office has also been maintaining a list of and keeping in contact with those who have expressed interest in buying the properties, which may have also had an effect on the larger turnout.

Reach Mitchell Kirk at mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5130

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