Delphi Mayor: 'Stellar' Program Paying Dividends

Posted: Updated:
Construction at the expanded Delphi Opera House began last year. Construction at the expanded Delphi Opera House began last year.
DELPHI -

As the city of Delphi prepares for the grand reopening of one of its signature landmarks, Mayor Randy Strasser says his city's designation as a 2012 Stellar Community has generated a "tremendous amount of interest." The Delphi Opera House was a key piece of the Stellar pitch and will welcome guests this weekend after a more than $4.3 million expansion and restoration. Strasser says the results of the program have far exceeded initial goals.

Delphi is one of the state's smallest cities with a population of just under 3,000. Strasser says, with a city utility and civil budget totaling around $5 million per year, the investments involved in Stellar Communities and other downtown revitalization efforts are significant. Along with the more than $4 million invested in the Opera House, approximately $8 million has been pumped into the Canal Commons housing project, adding with other work that Strasser says combined for a total of $25 million.

Strasser says the infusion generated by Stellar Communities came at the time of "a crossroad" for the Carroll County city. He says Delphi needed a "large influx" of capital in order to go forward with the kind of plans he and other leaders envisioned, particularly for downtown.

The projects have involved a number of Hoosier businesses, including Indianapolis-based HWC Engineering. The growing firm partnered with the city on the Opera House, streetscapes, facades, Gateway Trail and downtown apartment efforts.

The state says statewide Stellar investments to date from the Indiana Housing and Community Economic Development Authority, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and the Indiana Department of Transportation total $58 million. The program is operated by the Indiana Lieutenant Governor's Office.

In all, communities have received the Stellar Communities Designation, beginning with Greencastle and North Vernon in 2011, then Delphi and Princeton, Bedford and Richmond, Huntingburg and Wabash, and last year's communities, Crawfordsville and North Liberty. The state says 21 strategic investment plans have been created as a result of 60 communities showing interest in the program.

The three-story Delphi Opera House is hosting its opening weekend festivities after the multi-million dollar investment nearly doubled its size. Improvements that we spearheaded by the Delphi Preservation Society include a fully-restored stage featuring original windows and wallpaper. The project's Stellar investment came to $2.6 million. The venue was originally named the Assion-Ruffing City Hall and served as a grand event hall, hosting its first event (a ball for returning Civil War veterans) in 1865.

Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser tells Inside INdiana Business downtown development is at the heart of the revitalization efforts that are beginning to bear fruit.
  • Perspectives

    • 3 Tips to Attract and Retain Employees in the Gig Economy

      The gig economy has been around ever since workers began looking for supplemental income, but, it has recently evolved with the introduction of technology. Companies emerging like Uber, Lyft and GrubHub, are changing the gig economy landscape of the workforce. The gig economy has attracted millennials and Gen Zers because of the flexibility and autonomy to work from anywhere, at any time.

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (Industrial hemp photo courtesy of Purdue University)

      Hemp Processor Announces Expansion

      Indianapolis-based BDX Indiana has announced plans to bring more than 100 new jobs to central Indiana, with about a third of those going to a planned hemp extraction facility in Westfield. BDX extracts CBD oil from Indiana-grown hemp and is a sister company of Biodynamic Ventures, the largest hemp grower in Indiana. The city says the phase one build-out of the overall $50 million project is expected to begin this month with production to start in December. 

    • Butler Blue III is retiring next spring as the school's mascot. (photo courtesy Butler University)

      Butler Mascot Set to Retire

      One of the best-known ambassadors for Butler University is stepping down, all four legs of him, at the end of the current academic year. The university says their furry mascot, Butler Blue III, is ready to retire after nearly eight years of greeting visitors, students and staff. 

    • (photo courtesy of Indianapolis International Airport)

      Indy Airport Showcases New Retail Offerings

      Indianapolis International Airport is celebrating the opening of the first wave of new retail offerings. The new stores are part of the airport's multi-year Concessions Refresh initiative, which aims to bring a greater mix of nationally-known brands, such as FAO Schwarz and Vineyard Vines, with more local offerings, including Natalie's Candy Jar and Fountain Square Market. In all, nine new retail stores opened Tuesday morning. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business...

    • (WISH-TV Photo)

      Waterside Fight Continues Between Ambrose, City

      Ambrose Property Group has taken another step in its fight with the city of Indianapolis over the former GM Stamping Plant site in the city's downtown. The developer has given a notice of the legal action it intends to pursue against the city for what it calls "the city's baseless eminent domain threat and defamation." The back-and-forth between the two parties stems from Ambrose's announcement in late September that it planned to sell the property, which was being...

    • 3 Tips to Attract and Retain Employees in the Gig Economy

      The gig economy has been around ever since workers began looking for supplemental income, but, it has recently evolved with the introduction of technology. Companies emerging like Uber, Lyft and GrubHub, are changing the gig economy landscape of the workforce. The gig economy has attracted millennials and Gen Zers because of the flexibility and autonomy to work from anywhere, at any time.