A proposal to transform a historic pump house in Columbus into a restaurant and brewpub is set to face the city's Board of Public Works and Safety next week. Moravec Realty LLC is looking to partner with Bloomington-based Upland Brewing Co. to locate a brewpub in the 1900s-era building. The Pump House is eligible to be listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

The city estimates around $2.5 million will need to be poured into the project by a private investor for purchase and improvements.

Moravec Realty is the company that revitalized and owns Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor in the city's downtown.

If approved by the Board of Public Works, it could go before the city council the following week.

Source: The City of Columbus

March 5, 2015

News Release

COLUMBUS, Ind. (February 11, 2015) – The City of Columbus plans to sell and preserve the Pump House property at 148 Lindsay Street this spring to a qualified buyer that will redevelop the building as a restaurant or retail space with regional draw and restore its historic exterior.

The Board of Public Works and Safety approved on Tuesday a public, competitive process to sell and preserve the Pump House.

The City hopes a private investor will purchase the Pump House property and invest an estimated $2.5 million needed to upgrade its interior for use such as a restaurant, food co-op, museum or brewpub that will attract community members and visitors.

“The Pump House holds significant historic and sentimental value to our community,” Mayor Kristen Brown said. “We hope to have a private buyer who will restore and transform the Pump House into a spectacular destination along the riverfront that both community members and tourists will enjoy.”

The Pump House is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. With Mayor Kristen Brown's recommendation, the City Council approved rezoning the Pump House property in March 2014 to encourage uses of the property that would reenergize the area and become a destination for visitors and the community.

A two-part process will identify qualified buyers. The first part requires prospective buyers to meet a set of criteria that shows they have a business plan specific for the Pump House building and the ability to invest the significant funding necessary to rehabilitate the property. Qualified candidates will then be invited to competitively bid on the property as the second part of the process.

The City has received two appraisals on the property. One valued the property at $350,000, and the other valued it at $220,000. The low estimates are due to the current zoning restrictions, the required preservation of the building's historic exterior and limitations on changes to the exterior. Any changes must be approved by Indiana Landmarks and meet the nationally recognized Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.

Prospective buyers must offer at least $285,000 to be eligible to participate in the competitive bidding process. If the Pump House is sold, the building's exterior will be protected by Indiana Landmarks. Also, an easement on the property would be created for a future extension of the People Trail, and licensing agreements with the Louisville and Indiana Railroad would be required since the railroad passes through the property's entrance.

The City is accepting proposals from qualified candidates that can meet the following minimum criteria:

Financial Strength – Proof of financial ability not only for the purchase of the property but investment of at least $2 million within the next 24 months;

Regional Draw – Outline the concept and demonstrate the ability to provide a regional draw;

History, Experience and Confidence of Success – Demonstrate the operational capabilities of the concept and those involved including relevant experience and a concept with detail specific to the Pump House;

Demographic Served – All socioeconomic groups and ages considered;

Timing – The ability to improve the property with reasonable promptness;

Price – The initial offer of sales price for the property must be $285,000 to be eligible to participate in the bidding process;

No Broker Fees – The City will not pay any broker fees for the sale of the Pump House through this process.

The deadline to submit proposals is February 27. Proposals will be reviewed by two members of the Board of Public Works and Safety and the city attorney to ensure the minimum requirements are met.

Qualifying buyers will be invited to participate in a competitive bidding process in March, and the proposal review committee will recommend a buyer to the Board of Public Works and Safety.

The board will then make a recommendation to the City Council for a final decision, which is anticipated April 7.

Source: The City of Columbus

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