The Gary Common Council has approved a tax abatement worth an estimated $669,000 for the developer behind the Broadway Lofts project in downtown Gary. But MVAH Partners is also seeking a waiver on a new city law requiring developers to increase the number of minorities it hires.
Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the developer says the tax abatement is necessary for the project to move forward.
Pete Schwiegeraht, vice president of Ohio-based MVAH Partners, told the council the housing project will be lost due to the potential of investors backing out if it is delayed much longer.
The publication says the abatement request was submitted back in October.
“If we don’t get started in August, we’re risking winter conditions, which will add $500,000 in costs that are going to drastically make this project infeasible,” said Schwiegeraht.
The plan is to build out a three-story, 40,000-square-foot multi-family building at Seventh and Broadway at an $11-million price tag.
The Broadway Lofts will include 38 loft-style apartments, 4,000 square feet for ground-floor retail and 2,000 square feet of community space.
The lofts would be built on the site of the historic Memorial Auditorium
At issue was whether the Broadway Lofts developers should be held accountable under a new Community Benefits Agreement law which is designed to improve minority and local hiring initiatives and compels developers to invest in impacted neighborhoods.
Schwiegeraht is asking for the Broadway Lofts project to be exempt from compliance with the CBA during the first phase of construction.
He said the Broadway Lofts project was funded, prepped and proposed long before the CBA law existed.