Restored historic site hits market



Rehabilitation and stabilization of a historic building in the heart of Crothersville are completed.

Now, the two-story brick structure at the corner of Howard and Armstrong streets is on the market.

Indiana Landmarks recently signed a listing contract with Mike Kopp of RE/MAX FIRST Commercial Group in Jeffersonville to begin marketing of the 2,030-square-foot building, which was constructed in 1891 and over the years housed an Odd Fellows lodge, a library, a license branch, a pharmacy and a barbershop. The listing price is $69,500.

In the past year, Indiana Landmarks, an organization that rehabilitates architecturally unique and historically significant structures, has stabilized and undertaken an exterior rehabilitation of the building, including masonry and window restoration, roof repairs, a new guttering system, internal structural repairs and clean-out, cornice work, storefront glass replacement and exterior painting.

One to three businesses could be located on the first floor, while Hal Kovert, a Crothersville native who works for Kovert Hawkins Architects in Jeffersonville, has prepared architectural floor plans that show how the second floor could be converted into residential use with four options.

Kopp has been involved with several downtown revitalization projects in southern Indiana, including Seymour.

He saw the Crothersville building before Indiana Landmarks began its work and said he has seen other buildings in much worse condition.

“They have done a significant amount of work on the building,” Kopp said. “It’s a good building for someone. There’s someone out there that wants to be in that building. They just don’t know it yet. There’s an entrepreneurial kind of person out there that’s looking to do this. You’ve just got to seek them out.”

Kopp said he knows people who enjoy the process of redoing buildings completely, and some of them may have investors interested in the Crothersville building.

“It will be something probably that ends up being somebody who is familiar with Crothersville or may have lived there at one point, in my opinion,” he said. “There are people out there that are passionate about the history of the building, the story behind it, and it just may be a really good fit for their business.”

In 2015, town officials became concerned about the safety of the building and feared it would crumble into the street.

But the building’s former owner, Nathan Ray, didn’t have the money to make repairs. At the time, property taxes hadn’t been paid on the building since late 2012.

In July 2015, Jackson County commissioners voted 3-0 to give the town the tax sale certificate for the property. That move came after the county tried to sell it to collect unpaid property taxes on the property. No purchaser came forward.

The town had set aside $40,000 to demolish the building and clean up the site, but officials agreed to give that money to Indiana Landmarks to help pay for stabilizing the building.

Indiana Landmarks’ board met and approved the acceptance of the property and the $40,000 donation. The organization received the tax deed on the building in November 2015 and made improvements to the inside and outside last year.

Having the building restored and put on the market is one piece of the town council’s mission to revitalize the downtown area.

“We are hoping to find a preservation-minded buyer who will be attracted to the prominent location and architectural qualities of this Crothersville landmark. The building is literally a three-minute drive from the Interstate 65 interchange,” said Greg Sekula, director of the Indiana Landmarks Southern Regional Office in Jeffersonville.

“Crothersville has a nice collection of historic buildings in its core, which help to create a unique sense of place for the community,” he said. “We are grateful to Crothersville town officials who saw the wisdom of saving this structure and believe it could be a catalyst for further investment in the community.”

Kopp said he plans to meet with Sekula and town officials about other buildings near the main intersection of the town. That includes the building that housed the town’s only grocery store, which closed last year.

“That’s a huge impact to people around there,” Kopp said of Tanner’s Market closing. “When it’s gone, that’s a pretty significant impact to your day and your planning.”

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