Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 24, 2014

OUR VIEW: Hard work gets Hawks project off the ground

Hard work gets project off the ground

Goshen News

---- — The Goshen millrace corridor is continuing to evolve for the better and we expect a renovated Hawks Building will become a wonderful asset for that neighborhood and the city as a whole.

On Monday, social services agency LaCasa and its partners, which are turning the historic factory building into apartments for artists and entrepreneurs, broke ground on the project. But anyone who has paid attention to the building knows plenty of work was done this past year to get the building ready for the groundbreaking ceremony.

LACASA PRESIDENT Larry Gautsche pointed out that volunteers put in 1,100 hours to get the aged building ready for contractors. The city government also did considerable preparatory work on site preparation. In addition, the city donated the building to LaCasa, a $162,664 gift based on an earlier agreement that would have sold the building to LaCasa.

The Hawks Building is just one of the many improvements that have either occurred or will occur along the millrace, most of them fueled by income funneled through the Goshen Redevelopment Commission from a tax increment finance district.

WE PARTICULARLY LIKE the renovated millrace powerhouse and the sculpture and seating area adjoining it. We are also glad the former Goshen Street Department building was removed and toxins in the soil there were dug up and disposed of properly.

Coming up are the exciting projects of construction of townhouses and arts and crafts housing by private contractors along the west bank of the millrace, just south of the Hawks Building. Add to that the planned opening of a brewery in the former NIPSCO building behind the powerhouse at the end of Washington Street, and the millrace renaissance becomes extensive and will have a lasting, positive impact on the city.

THIS HAWKS BUILDING PROJECT also shows what a community can do to re-purpose historic structures when government works with a non-profit agency that is adept at pulling in funding from state and federal sources.

It was certainly good news for Goshen when LaCasa broke ground on the Hawks project Monday, and we can’t wait to see what the result is.