St. Joe’s Hospital Sees Activity

The Dubois County Free Press is reporting on activity at the long beleaguered St. Joseph Hospital building in Huntingburg. Two developments have occurred in the past week alone.

A Cincinnati-based developer plans on creating 45 to 50 senior living units in part of the former-St. Joseph Hospital building and another business signed an option to purchase the empty Medical Arts building on the campus’ south side.

On Friday, Pete Schwiegeraht, a developer with Miller-Valentine Group, finalized an agreement with Dr. Ijaz Mahmood of Huntingburg Partners, LLC, to purchase approximately 30,000 of the 90,000 square feet of the main hospital.

Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner expressed satisfaction with the deal saying, “We are excited about this opportunity.  They [Miller-Valentine Group] have a proven track record of providing quality housing in the State of Indiana and across the Midwest. I want to applaud the Mahmoods and everyone who has worked to bring this together.”

Pete Schwiegeraht is on the agenda to address the Huntingburg City Council at their Thursday meeting, 7:30 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers.

The purchase is dependent upon the group receiving rental housing tax credits through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. These tax credits will act as the primary funding source for the project.

The group will submit an application for the tax credits in November and will know if the tax credits are approved by the spring of 2014. Construction and renovation on the building will begin that fall with plans to open the units for rental in the fall of 2015.

Schwiegeraht stated the company plans to invest about $9 million to acquire, renovate and add to the northwest wing of the building to create the senior living units. The senior independent living apartments will be one- to two-bedroom units ranging from 675 to 875 square feet with full amenities.

Plans for the construction include renovating the first and second floors of the west and north wings along with constructing a two-story extension to the north side of the existing hospital building.

Miller-Valentine Group, a 50-year-old nationally recognized commercial and residential real estate company with developments throughout the Midwest will be the general contractor on the project and will bid the project locally. Once construction is complete, they will continue to manage the property.

Both deals were put together with the assistance from Welsh Realty of Jasper.  Owner Andy Welsh said that an unnamed company signed an option Wednesday to purchase the doctors’ plaza building at 214 17th Street.  It is currently owned by Freedom Bank.

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