Grow Wabash County accepting proposals for E. Market Street housing project
17 Jan 2023
Wabash County, IN – Grow Wabash County is now accepting proposals for the development and construction of residential homes along East Market Street in Wabash.
This Request for Proposals (RFP) is the exciting next step in a years-long endeavor to expand housing options in Wabash County and create high end downtown living opportunities which will continue to spur economic growth in Wabash County.
“This project was borne from a shared vision between City of Wabash’s Mayor Scott Long and us here at Grow Wabash County,” Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of Grow Wabash County, said. “We knew there was an opportunity to improve that main corridor connecting Paradise Springs Park and all of the great amenities in the rest of downtown Wabash.”
With “Livability” as one of its main pillars of service, Grow Wabash County has been at the forefront of local efforts to address the growing concerns surrounding Wabash County’s aging housing stock and the clear deficit of housing available for newcomers looking to live in our communities.
The East Market street project corridor, which spans along Market Street between Huntington and Allen Streets, was identified early as an opportune location for redevelopment and ultimately build new market-rate housing.
Grow Wabash County and the City of Wabash started the study of this corridor in 2018 by engaging a group of Public Policy students at Manchester University who studied the project over the course of a semester and then presented their findings to Grow Wabash County and the City. The research concluded that market-rate housing and/or a mixed use development along the corridor would best serve the community.
Working with the City of Wabash and the Wabash Housing committee, with the support of Bob and Kristi Lundquist at Lundquist Real Estate, Grow Wabash County then acquired all of the properties and prepared the site for redevelopment.
Expanding the housing market in Wabash County also aligns with the primary focus of the Imagine One85 Countywide Plan which was adopted by all communities in Summer 2022 to pursue a variety of initiatives, projects and programs with the intention of growing the local population.
“The Imagine One85 plan challenges Wabash County to attract and retain at least 85 families annually to make progress in further growing the local population,” Marilyn Custer-Mitchell, Grow Wabash County board chair, said. “In order to attract and retain those 85 families, there of course need to be homes for them to live in, to raise their families in. East Market Street is one of the many exciting projects helping to make the 85 household goal a strong reality.”
The East Market Street project is one of several housing projects underway in Wabash County. In 2022, both the Kentner Creek housing development and the Legacy Heights project began selling lots and initial construction on homes in a variety of size and style to accommodate a variety of families and households. Legacy Heights even received $2.44 million in READI funding in August 2022 to help establish infrastructure and expediate the homebuilding and homebuying processes for the project.
“Fostering the redevelopment of existing properties and sparking new housing developments in the City is one my biggest goals as Mayor,” said Mayor Scott Long. “Creating new high quality housing stock in our community provides opportunities our residents who are looking for the next chapter in their lives as well as a landing spot for new folks looking to move into the city.”
A full copy of the RFP can be found on the Grow Wabash County website at www.growwabashcounty.com/RFPs.
Applicants must submit fifteen printed copies and one electronic copy of their proposal to the Grow Wabash County office, 214 South Wabash Street, Wabash, IN, 46992 by the deadline. Submissions will be accepted no later than 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14.
All proposals will then be reviewed by the Grow Wabash County Board of Directors and awarding the project by Tuesday, April 11.