MUNCIE — The city will spend $1.7 million to purchase riverfront properties downtown for Mayor Dennis Tyler's plan to develop land along White River.
The Muncie Redevelopment Commission on Thursday approved a resolution for purchase for $1.7 million for what city economic development officer Todd Donati said was 15 parcels of land from four property owners.
Donati wouldn't say which parcels or name the owners but confirmed to The Star Press that the purchase was for Tyler's riverfront development project, which has been an ongoing effort in recent years.
In 2015, the city failed to win state Regional Cities Initiative funding to apply toward the project, which has been estimated by the city at $48 million in cost and would include a mix of retail, residential and office uses in multi-story buildings in a several-block area between Muncie City Hall and White River. But despite the loss of potential state funding, the city continued to secure options to purchase property.
Secrecy has surrounded the project due to the property purchases. Donati wouldn't release the locations or owners of any of the properties the city agreed to purchase this week. In 2016 and 2017, when the city was securing options to purchase various parcels through the board of works, city attorney Megan Quirk tried to prevent The Star Press from seeing invoices — which included little detail — for the purchase of some properties.