The Muncie Redevelopment Commission has approved plans for a $7.5 million redevelopment project in the city’s downtown. Roebuck LLC plans to transform the former Sears building and parking lot into a mixed-use development that will include 42 residential housing units and more than 20,000 square feet of commercial space.
The commission approved an economic development agreement that stipulates the city will transfer the parking lot, located at the intersection of Main and Walnut streets, once Roebuck has secured full financing for the project, which must occur before August 2017. The commission will also commit TIF funds to the project as early as March 2019 as long as the project is "substantially complete."
Officials say the project will be a boost to downtown Muncie. Jim Riggle, incoming president for the Muncie Downtown Development Partnership, says the city’s downtown housing inventory has been extremely low and he is confident this new development will "serve as a catalyst for future investment."
"Private investment will help Muncie continue our positive momentum in redeveloping our downtown area," said Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler. "With the reconstruction of Walnut Street and the new hotel/training center, we know there is a bigger demand for downtown housing, which Roebuck will provide."
In addition to redeveloping the existing building, Roebuck plans to construct nearly 45,000 square feet of new space, add a cornice on top of the building’s facade and provide private, enclosed parking for residents and guests.
An estimated timeline for completion of the project was not released.