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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette

Furthermore …

Another option for downtown living

Much of the debate and angst surrounding Harrison Square concerned the residential component of the recently opened mixed-use building, The Harrison.

Naysayers doubted there was much demand for downtown residences, and the lack of interest in condos at The Harrison seemed to prove their point. But much of the lack of interest had to do with price and size, and interest increased after the units changed from condos to apartments.

Meanwhile, private developers saw an opening and a market. RCI Development is renovating the Anthony Wayne Building for upscale condos in a mixed-use development. Now, last week brought news for more – and more affordable – housing for downtown.

A Carmel developer received approval for tax credits that will help it build the Randall Lofts apartments in the building (seen at right) on the northwest corner of Harrison and Pearl streets. Originally known as the Randall Building, it has also been called the Wayne Hardware building and the Bonar building. Previous proposals to renovate the building for apartments or condos were promising but never came to fruition.

But this effort looks like a go. Federal rental housing tax credits will help the developer renovate the building – and will also make it more affordable for residents with a wide range of incomes. Rents will range from a very affordable $350 to $850 a month, with 27 of the 44 units reserved for lower-income households. The arrangement will likely bring a more diverse – and, dare we say, eclectic – population downtown, and don’t be surprised if a growing need for retail outlets selling groceries and drug-store items brings more business downtown.