A multi-phase retail and apartment complex is proposed for several properties near the Lebanon Municipal Building.
The Lebanon Board of Works and City Council this week heard information about the development and approved the sale of a city-owned parcel at 320 S. Meridian St. With two appraisals obtained for the lot, the city sold the property to Criss Edwards for $152,500.
Edwards, who has developed properties of this type around the country, has proposed two to three mixed-use buildings that would include about 14 apartment units and 3,500 square feet of retail space in each building.
His plan includes using the parcel, along with adjacent parcels at 310, 304 and 224 S. Meridian St., for the first two buildings. If properties at 232 and 234 S. Meridian St. can be acquired, buildings on those sites would be razed for the third building.
The buildings would have retail space and two ADA compliant units on the bottom floor. About six apartment units would be created on the top two floors of each of the three-story buildings.
The development proposal suggests the units and the retail would be aimed at young professionals. The units will have one to three bedrooms and one to two bathrooms.
The development plan has not been before the Lebanon Plan Commission yet, but planning officials say they expect to see a proposal at the July meeting.
The proposal for the development and to demolish the three homes, as they are in the city’s downtown historic district, came before the Historical Preservation Commission earlier this year. Deputy Planning Director Derek Warren said the HPC, after much discussion and a few edits to the building materials to be used in the development, gave approval.
While the buildings will not have a copy-cat historic look, Warren said the developer has included design elements that will help the new structures fit into the neighborhood. The idea is make a new structure that has a nod to the past and the potential to be a landmark, he said.
The development was dubbed Big 4 Trail Crossing, as the trail is planned to head east from the new section being built at Main and Meridian streets.
Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry said the proceeds from sale of the property may be applied to help fund the trail project, if approved by council.
Warren and Planning Director Ben Bontrager said the development could be the beginning of a new era for Lebanon.
“This could be the start of what could help downtown become more vibrant,” Warren said. “It is a breath of fresh air to see something like this proposed in our [historic] district.”
The first building is scheduled for completion before year's end. The project will use Midwest Homes, a Lebanon-based home construction company, as the builder.
“This is an exciting project that fits well with our Downtown Action Plan,” Bontrager said. “He is really ready to go too. His schedule suggests the first units could be available for occupancy Nov. 1 of this year.”