$40M Post House Project Gains Key Approval

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Construction on the Post House is set to begin this summer. Construction on the Post House is set to begin this summer.

Southwest Indiana's largest Regional Cities Initiative project has cleared a key hurdle. The $40 million Post House, a research hub for smart energy technologies, has landed approval from the Evansville Common Council to use Tax Increment Financing. Evansville-based Vectren Corp. (NYSE: VVC) will use the facility as a "living laboratory" to test smart energy technologies, including solar panels, energy storage and smart appliances. The development will also include housing, retail and office components.

Indianapolis-based Scannell Properties, which is leading the project, says construction is set to begin this summer. It will sit on property next to the historic Greyhound Bus Station, which is home to a Bru Burger restaurant.

Developers have been working for nearly two years on the project. Scannell Properties Partner David Ravensberg says the effort is a rare example of a project "that can actually change how we live." In addition to the research, retail, residence and office space, plans call for a park or flexible open space to host events and community gatherings.

"The Post House will serve as a design standard for future housing developments," stated Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. "With the ability to accommodate new technology and systems as well as adapt products and services based on real-time use, the Post House will help to position Evansville and Southwest Indiana as a leader in adaptive energy research."

Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana - South President Brad Ellsworth says the Post House will provide a "leading-edge complex for downtown residents." He says the technologies developed there will be part of a "smart energy future." 

In April, Vectren announced a $6 billion merger with Texas-based CenterPoint Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNP). The combined company's natural gas utility operations will be headquartered in Evansville.

In January, the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana said the state's Regional Cities Initiative had generated more than $550 million in investment throughout its four counties to that point. The region, which includes Vanderburgh, Warrick, Gibson and Posey counties, received the designation in late 2015. 

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Post House project is tentatively scheduled for August.

Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana Chief Executive Officer Greg Wathen says the process has taken about three years and complements other major projects in downtown Evansville.
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