By Joe Awad //Deaborn County Register
After months of negotiations and fine-tuning, Lawrenceburg City Council unanimously passed a proposal to build an up-scale private/public $30 million luxury apartment development near the west end of High Street in Lawrenceburg.
Construction is projected to be completed by mid-June 2021.
There was little discussion Monday, June 4, before the unanimous vote, which drew robust applause from about 30 people in attendance.
Council moved forward on what is called the Flaherty & Collins project even though Mayor Kelly Mollaun pointed out the “financial piece” had not been completely decided.
City attorney Del Weldon later explained Mollaun had referred to the amount the city would contribute through bonds versus cash.
The 150-unit complex, which will cater to millennials and empty nesters, took a giant leap forward Thursday, May 3, when of five three councilmen present at a work session voted to move the proposal to the full council.
In a follow-up work session, council and redevelopment commission members were guaranteed that property taxes from the project would never be less than $300,000 annually. That tax income is in addition to about $358,000 in tax money now received from the property and other properties that are in the city’s Tax Increment Financing District.
“We will never get less than $300,000. If the property is re-reappraised at $275,000, we still would get $300,000,” said Mollaun.
The pivotal piece was locked into place when Flaherty & Collins CEO David Flaherty, half owner of F&C, said in May the company would agree in writing it would continue to own the property after the complex is constructed, and guarantee, also in writing, the $300,000 annually in property taxes.
Flaherty said the company primarily keeps its properties, and has signed similar pacts in other cities where it has constructed contemporary units.
At a projected cost of about $30,000 million, the city would put up $15 million.
In addition, the numbers show the city would garner about $48,000 in income taxes, $70,000 in sewer revenue and $162,000 in electric revenue, based on a report from Reedy Financial Group P.C.
The combined annual impact to the city’s coffers is projected at about $672,000. Over 10 years, $6,800,000, and $13,5000 over 20 years.
The overall impact to the city’s economy could be as high as $55 million over five years, said F&C President Jerry Collins.
“It was just me doing some rough match. The last one we did was $55 million over the first five years and Elkhart was, I want to say, $32 million,” he said.
The apartments would run between $800 and $1,100 monthly, and city officials expect the complex to attract retirees and young professionals from Ohio and Kentucky, as well as Indiana. The apartment complex will contain 75 one-bedroom units and 75 two bedroom units.
The partners said the complex is anticipated to draw about 75 percent young working professionals and 25 percent retirees.
“I think people realize that in order for our downtown to flourish and merchants to prosper that we need to provide projects like this for encouraging growth,” said Mollaun.