Elkhart Chooses Developer For Civic Plaza

Excitement is building in Elkhart. A shot of economic adrenalin for the downtown, as plans to redevelop the city's Civic Plaza took a huge step forward.

The Elkhart Redevelopment Commission chose a developer for the downtown project Thursday night.

The big winner: developer Herman Renfro of Columbus, Indiana.

Renfro's plans call for an $18.5 million, four-story Double-Tree Hotel, with street-level retail shops and 22 condominiums on the top levels.

Herman Renfro said, “What they've done with the downtown, with the river-walk and the things that they're attracting made it very interesting to us. It's a very healthy economy in Elkhart, a number of corporations have their headquarters there, so it became very interesting to us, it's a very exciting city.”

Elkhart City Councilman Arvis Dawson added, “The selling point for the redevelopment commission was that they offered to lease the land back from the city, which could generate revenue up to a million dollars versus the other offer, they offered to buy the land for two dollars.”

If all goes as planned, groundbreaking will take place this fall, with the project being completed in early 2008.

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