Frankfort Mayor: 'Build it And They Will Come'

Posted: Updated:
Chris McBarnes is in his second term as mayor of Frankfort. Chris McBarnes is in his second term as mayor of Frankfort.
FRANKFORT -

While numerous Hoosier small town downtowns are struggling, the mayor of Frankfort says a revitalization plan aimed at attracting talent in his city is gaining momentum. This weekend, Chris McBarnes helped christen Nickle Plate Flats, a $7.2 million downtown apartment complex complete with electric vehicle charging stations and other amenities. The second-term Republican mayor believes the apartment development and other projects are already beginning to attract talent to Frankfort. "People thought we were crazy when we first brought this idea to the table... (they said) never in Frankfort," said McBarnes. "Out of the 18 or 19 leases that have already been signed, 16 of those individuals have never lived in Frankfort or Clinton County before."

In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, McBarnes said despite challenges, small town revitalization is possible throughout the state.

Adjacent to Nickle Plate Flats, plans are moving forward with development of a $4.5 million greenspace known as Prairie Creek Park, a venue that will provide performing arts space, a splash pad, vendor areas, dog park, playground and other recreational opportunities.

The park is expected to open in time for the annual Frankfort Hot Dog Festival in July 2019.

McBarnes says quality of place improvements in Frankfort are being fueled, in part, by the need to attract talent for local agribusiness and advanced manufacturing companies, including Frito-Lay, Federal-Mogul Corp. and NHK Seating of America.

"We are the city that feeds the state and feeds the world, but what I'm hearing from my plant managers is we need bodies, we can't find people to fill the jobs," said McBarnes, who believes the pressure is on rural communities to think differently. "We've got to create an environment that attracts top talent... that's how we're going to create more jobs and make ourselves sustainable."

View full interview:

  • Perspectives

    • An Antidote For First-Time Homebuyer Jitters

      If you're a Millennial like I am, chances are you're in the market to purchase your first home. It's exciting!  But since it's most likely the largest purchase you've ever made, it can quickly turn into a nerve-racking endeavor. Having just completed a transaction, I found that following these guidelines can ensure a smooth process. Every homebuyer's experience will be different because of a number of variables such as what state you live in and the condition of the housing mark...
    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Colts Makes Promotions, Hires

      The Indianapolis Colts have announced the following changes to its football operations staff and team. Ed Dodds has been named assistant general manager. He enters his second season with the Colts and his 16th year in the NFL. Brian Decker has been promoted to director of player development. Jon Shaw has been elevated to assistant director of pro scouting. Also, Stephanie Pemberton (pictured) has been promoted to vice president of marketing.

    • Mark Music is chairman of Ruoff Financial Corp.

      Ruoff to Acquire White County Bank

      Fort Wayne-based Ruoff Financial Corp. has announced plans to acquire SBB Bancshares Inc. in White County. Financial terms were not disclosed, however Ruoff says once the deal is complete, SBB subsidiary State Bank of Burnettsville will be renamed and operate as Ruoff Bank. The acquisition is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter. Ruoff says no job losses are expected. Ruoff Financial Corp. is the parent of Ruoff Home Mortgage, which has more than...

    • Sazerac Acquires Former General Mills Plant

      Louisiana-based Sazerac Co. Inc. has made the first step in its recently-announced plans to locate a new alcohol bottling facility in Indiana. The company has purchased the former General Mills plant in New Albany for an undisclosed sum, a move that is part of an overall $66 million investment that is expected to create up to 110 jobs by 2021. A joint venture between New Mill Capital Holdings LLC and Tiger Group sold the facility to Sazerac. The 455,000-square-foot plant closed...

    • Nonprofit to Present DCS Findings

      Officials from the Alabama-based Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group will Monday present the final findings and recommendations from its evaluation of the Indiana Department of Child Services. Governor Eric Holcomb requested the assessment in December following the resignation of former DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura.

    • Pogue's Run Grocer opened in 2010.

      Pogue's Run Grocer Closing

      An Indianapolis grocery co-operative says it will close Tuesday. Pogue's Run Grocer, which opened on the city's near east side in 2010, announced on Facebook that sales are at the lowest they've ever been and "the store has reached a point where it cannot sustain itself and the people who are carrying most of the burden are the employees." Pogue's Run has focused on selling local produce and organic and responsibly-sourced foods.