$6.8 million investment to yield ‘new lease on life’ for downtown
Frankfort, Ind. – A 73-unit, 60,000 square-foot, four-story building housing studio, one and two-bedroom apartments and executive suites is set to be developed by Iron Men Properties on the northeast side of Frankfort’s downtown square at the intersection of Jackson and Washington Streets.
According to Mayor Chris McBarnes, the Nickel Plate Flats project will significantly strengthen Frankfort’s downtown revitalization efforts and quality of place appeal, bringing a high quality housing development to the heart of the city.
“Thanks to the savvy, innovative professionals at Iron Men Properties who are demonstrating their belief and faith in Frankfort as a great place to invest, combined with the incredible collaboration of our City Council, Building Services Department, the Historic Preservation Commission, the City Plan Commission, the Redevelopment Commission, the Utility Service Board and Clinton County officials, Nickel Plate Flats is the most significant downtown revitalization project in our recent history.
“Attracting folks to live in our downtown is critically important for Frankfort to survive. Nickel Plate Flats will help support existing and new businesses, as well as those who work in our Industrial Park who will be able to live and work in our community.
“This development will strengthen our community’s appeal for everyone from young professionals to empty nesters to visiting Industrial Park plant managers who can lease the executive suites while they are in town. In short, this exciting project will provide momentum and opportunities that cannot even be fathomed yet,” McBarnes said.
According to Iron Men Properties Principal Joe Blake, PE, LEED AP, the $6.8 million project could be a catalyst to attract future businesses to the downtown and the Industrial Park.
“We believe the philosophy of ‘a rising tide lifts all ships’ fits this project well. We want Frankfort to prosper and be a better place to live because the Nickel Plate Flats was built. Fundamentally, we are concerned about the health and prosperity of Frankfort.
“Many people work in the Industrial Park, but currently live outside the City and Clinton County. We believe this project will create high end, quality housing, enabling these folks to live where they work, which would allow existing industries to attract and retain top talent; a huge advantage for the employees, companies, City and the County,” Blake said. “Having listened carefully to the input of many civic leaders, Nickel Plate Flats will have an historic flavor complementary to the Courthouse Square while serving as a contemporary multi-family project with the finest amenities.”
The apartments’ amenities include granite countertops, Energystar stainless steel appliances, vinyl plank flooring, modern lighting and ceiling fans, oversized windows, Gigaspeed fiber optic internet, security cameras, keyless electronic access control and WIFI thermostats.
The structure will house 11 studio apartments, 42 one-bedroom/one-bath, 18 two-bedroom/two-bath apartments and two executive suites with two-bedroom/two-baths each with rooftop patios. Rents will range from $545 per month for a studio apartment to $1,350 per month for an executive suite.
According to City Councilor and Frankfort Main Street President Joe Palmer who McBarnes credits with working tirelessly on this project, Nickel Plate Flats is a game changer.
“This project is a giant step forward for the economic development health of our downtown as well as our community overall. Quality of place is about the tangible elements in our city that positively impact our neighborhood revitalization and economic development improvement initiatives, such as housing, downtown facades, park enhancements, growing our population in strategic ways and investments in our road infrastructure.
“This development accelerates the progress of our quality of place work by leaps and bounds,” Palmer said.
Emphasizing Frankfort is indeed open for business, McBarnes points out that attracting young professionals to live downtown is an integral part of the City’s Downtown Revitalization Plan. Creating easily accessible, attractive parking options also are part of that plan. City officials are working collaboratively with Clinton County officials on designated parking for those who will be living at the Nickel Plate Flats.
“To accommodate the influx of 70-plus new downtown residents, we knew we had to incorporate parking options into our plans. Clinton County has a parking lot with designated spaces available plus the owner of a private parking lot across from Prairie Creek is working with us to provide additional parking spaces for 90 total designated spots,” McBarnes said.
The parking lots will be upgraded to fit into the revitalized downtown environment with historic lighting, pavement markings, plantings and a pedestrian-friendly trail way.
According to Clinton County Commissioner Josh Uitts, he is pleased to support the City and Iron Men Properties with the development project.
“A stronger Frankfort is a stronger Clinton County. Providing quality parking contributes to the overall appeal of this exciting development, the quality of life for those who will live there and the vibrancy of our entire downtown,” Uitts said.
The Redevelopment Commission and Economic Development Commission will utilize modern financing tools for this project, including Tax Increment Financing and traditional tax abatement.
In its meeting tonight, the City Council will hear the first reading of the ordinance to approve the issuance of bonds for the project. Plans call for construction to begin on the development this June.
NOTE: a color rendering of the Nickel Plate Flats and map of the project location are accompanying attachments to this news release.