The Flats at Memory Hall
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Iron Men Properties, owned by Joe Blake and Mike Sandry from Lafayette, is seeking approval from Lebanon officials for a multifamily residential project at 315 North Lebanon Street and 223 North Meridian Street. This project, which is identified as The Flats at Memory Hall and replaces the abandoned Memory Hall Flats project (see http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_memory_hall.htm), is estimated to cost $3.9 million and has the four components listed next.
(1) Memory Hall Senior Apartments. The building at 315 North Lebanon Street housed Lebanon High School from 1922 through 1968, and its classrooms were renovated into 59 senior housing units in 1996. Iron Men Properties purchased this building out of bankruptcy in October 2013. Housing choice vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are available to the residents of this building. Part of the building includes the old high school gym, and Iron Men Properties completed some rehabilitation work on the gym’s basketball court to make this "community center" available for rental reservations. Iron Men Properties discontinued renting space to the businesses and school that did occupy part of the bottom floor of the building, and converted this space the summer of 2014 into six one-bedroom apartments (725 square feet each rented for $675 a month) and two two-bedroom apartments (950 square feet each rented for $795 a month). A 1,500 square feet fitness room was also provided on the bottom floor. All the housing units are currently 100 percent occupied.
(2) Memory Hall Flats North Lebanon Street Building. Iron Men Properties plans to construct a free-standing, three-story apartment building adjacent to North Lebanon Street on the existing parking lot in front of Memory Hall Senior Apartments at 315 North Lebanon Street. The site for this proposed building is currently zoned Central Business. There will be 6 one-bedroom apartments (600 square feet each) and 15 two-bedroom apartments (750 square feet each). The apartments will have nine-foot ceilings. There will be a gabled roof with a maximum height of 44 feet. The exterior walls will be flat with no offsets. The exterior materials will consist of one-half brick veneer and one-half cement board siding designed to “respect Memory Hall.” A secure entrance door with an awning will be at each end of the building. Stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, vinyl plank flooring, and fiber optic cable from Metronet are planned for each new apartment. Construction of this apartment building will begin May 2015, and “market rate rents” will be charged ($675 a month for a one-bedroom apartment and $795 a month for a two-bedroom apartment). This apartment building will not be all senior housing like the Memory Hall Senior Apartments, but Iron Men Properties anticipates having housing choice vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development available for any senior residents.While it is intended that these new apartments will charge "market rate rents," there is "no guarantee" that the apartments will not one day become subsidized housing.
(3) Memory Hall Flats North Meridian Street Building. Iron Men Properties plans to construct a free-standing, three-story apartment building on the site of the former Russell & Hitch funeral home at 223 North Meridian Street. The site for this proposed building is currently zoned Central Business in the Downtown Overlay District. This proposed building is identical to the above-referenced Memory Hall Flats North Lebanon Street Building, and construction will begin soon after May 2015.
(4) Memory Hall Flats Parking. A 51-space parking lot will be constructed on North Meridian Street across the street from the Memory Hall Flats North Meridian Street Building in accordance with the following plans: the existing parking lot and buildings will be razed and rehabilitated, there will be 24-foot drive lanes with a parking stall depth of 18 feet, and parking lot lights will be provided. Planned additional parking includes 23 parking spaces on North Meridian Street and Williams Street adjacent to the Memory Hall Senior Apartments building and 32 parking spaces between the new apartment building at 315 North Lebanon Street and the existing Memory Hall Senior Apartments building. A total of 106 parking spaces will be provided by Iron Men Properties for the 109 total apartments in the Memory Hall Senior Apartments, Memory Hall Flats North Lebanon Street, and Memory Hall Flats North Meridian Street buildings. These indicated parking spaces do not include 18 "spaces on the street."
Listed next are the outcomes for the chronological history of the approval process pursued by Iron Men Properties for The Flats at Memory Hall project.
November 3, 2014: Lebanon Board of Zoning Appeals
The Lebanon Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-0 to allow non-senior multi-family housing and grant six development standards variances.
November 6, 2014: Lebanon Historic Preservation Commission
The Lebanon Historic Preservation Commission Board voted 5-0 to allow Iron Men Properties to demolish the old Russell & Hitch building at 223 North Meridian.
December 2, 2014: Lebanon Historic Preservation Commission
The Lebanon Historic Preservation Commission Board voted 3-0 to award Iron Men Properties a Certificate of Appropriateness for the Memory Hall Flats North Lebanon Street and Memory Hall Flats North Meridian Street buildings.
December 15, 2014: Lebanon City Council
Joe Blake with Iron Men Properties made an information-only presentation to the Lebanon City Council regarding The Flats at Memory Hall project. Some of the information presented at the meeting is summarized next.
The rationale provided for awarding a tax abatement included an increase in assessed value, downtown revitalization, the planned quality of the buildings is not justified by the current market rental rates, the monthly payments on the loan to complete the project cannot be made without a tax abatement, the city's "north gateway" will be significantly improved, there will be a larger customer base for downtown businesses, an active urban healthy lifestyle will be promoted, a "seed" investment will be provided that helps prompt future development, and a precedent would not supposedly be set for awarding future tax abatements to apartment buildings. Iron Men Properties would supposedly lose $8,000 if a $75,000 tax abatement is not awarded for the first year of the new apartment buildings.
One full time employee would be added to the existing 1.5 persons employed by Iron Men Properties. The improper Memory Hall Gym roof drain connection to the city's sanitary sewer system will be corrected if the project proceeds.
Joe Blake stated that the project will not proceed without a tax abatement.
January 12, 2015: Lebanon City Council
Keith Campbell, John Copeland, Mike Kincaid, Lana Kruse, Jeremy Lamar, and Preston Myers voted Yes to approve Resolution No. 2015-01 designating an Economic Revitalization Area and Economic Development Target Area for the Iron Men Properties project. Steve Large voted No. Mayor Huck Lewis signed the Resolution, which was necessary to award a tax abatement to Iron Men Properties.
January 20, 2015: Lebanon Plan Commission
The Lebanon Plan Commission voted 7-0 to approve the development plans for the Memory Hall Flats North Lebanon Street and Memory Hall Flats North Meridian Street buildings.
February 2, 2015: Lebanon Storm Water Management Board
It was reported that approval is anticipated for the storm water management plans for the Memory Hall Flats North Lebanon Street and Memory Hall Flats North Meridian Street buildings.
February 9, 2015: Lebanon Redevelopment Commission
The Lebanon Redevelopment Commission voted 3-0 to confirm a resolution designating an Economic Revitalization Area and Economic Development Target Area for the Iron Men Properties project. This action was necessary to award a tax abatement to Iron Men Properties.
February 9, 2015: Lebanon City Council
Mike Kincaid, Lana Kruse, Jeremy Lamar, and Preston Myers voted Yes to award a 10-year traditional tax abatement to Iron Men Properties for The Flats at Memory Hall apartments project. Keith Campbell, John Copeland, and Steve Large voted No. Mayor Huck Lewis publicly supported the tax abatement.
March 2, 2015: Lebanon Storm Water Management Board
It was reported that the improper Memory Hall Gym roof drain connection to the city's sanitary sewer system has been corrected.
April 6, 2015: Lebanon Storm Water Management Board
It was reported that Iron Men Properties has paid the $6,708.75 invoice for the storm water pipe extension up Williams Street next to the Memory Hall Gym. (NOTE: The city also paid $6,708.75 for the Williams Street storm water pipe extension.) The Memory Hall Gym roof drain was connected to the Williams Street storm water pipe extension.
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This page was last updated on 07/29/16.