Artist Housing Development Receives a Boost

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A more than $12 million initiative designed to provide housing for low-income artists in Michigan City has received funding from Merrillville-based NIPSCO. The $25,000 will go toward the Minnesota-based Artspace Projects Inc. initiative to turn an abandoned building into a mixed-use development. You can read a full outline of the project by clicking here.

July 27, 2013

News Release

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. - The Artspace development team and its local partners are pleased to announce a $25,000 capital grant from NIPSCO for the Uptown Artist Lofts project in Michigan City.

The Minneapolis-based nonprofit real estate developer is planning the sustainable, mixed-use,

community arts project in downtown Michigan City. The $12.2 million project will transform the vacant Warren Building into an affordable live/work facility containing 44 units of space for low income artists and their families, as well as ground level community arts, studio and commercial space.

The NIPSCO grant advances the $1 million philanthropic portion of the project’s capital budget. The award comes in a recent string of major pledges from Horizon Bank and the Barker Welfare Foundation.

"We're excited about the potential this project has for enhancing the downtown area," said Angie Nelson, public affairs manager for NIPSCO. “Repurposing a vacant building with something more vibrant and functional only enhances the positive changes already occurring in the community."

"We're pleased this award from NIPSCO demonstrates local support and helps advance the

project toward closing and construction," said Greg Handberg, Senior Vice President of

Properties.

Uptown Artist Lofts will cost $12.2 million. Of this sum, less than 10 percent or approximately $1 million will come from private sources. The majority of funding will come through an allocation of low income housing tax credits via the Indiana Housing & Finance Agency, which is expected to generate $8 million in private equity. Other sources will include other public sources and a modest private mortgage on the property.

"While representing a modest portion of the total budget, private philanthropic dollars are essential to make the leap from affordable housing to affordable live/work spaces for artist families and creative businesses that includes special features such as larger living spaces to accommodate art-making, common galleries, and space for local businesses and organizations," says Shannon Joern, Senior Director of National Advancement. "We're thrilled with the NIPSCO award, and grateful to the very active and engaged community leaders and artists in Michigan City who are helping make this possible."

About Artspace

With headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Seattle and Washington, DC, Artspace is America’s leader in artist-led community transformation with 33 projects in operation in 13 states. To date Artspace has completed more than 1,500 affordable live/work units for artists and their families as well as a million square feet of nonresidential space for artists, arts organizations and creative enterprises. Additional information is available at www.artspace.org.

About NIPSCO

NIPSCO, with headquarters in Merrillville, Ind., is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NE). With more than 786,000 natural gas customers and 457,000 electric customers across the northern third of Indiana, NIPSCO is the largest natural gas distribution company, and the second largest electric distribution company, in the state. NiSource distribution companies serve 3.8 million natural gas and electric customers primarily in seven states. More information about NIPSCO is available at www.nipsco.com.

Sources: NIPSCO, Artspace Projects Inc.