(BEDFORD) - The City of Bedford was awarded one of two 2013 Stellar Community grants in June 2013.
The city learned in March 2013 the city was among six finalists contending for the grants designed to fund comprehensive community development projects in Indiana's smaller communities.
The finalists were Angola, Bedford, Frankfort, Petersburg, Richmond and Wabash. This is the third year for the Stellar program. Bedford was a finalist in 2011, but failed to advance in 2012 when 40 communities applied for the highly-competitive grants. Twenty-four sought the awards in 2013.
Richmond was the other winner.
Bedford could reap up to $12 million dollars.
Mayor Shawn Girgis says the grant will transform the city's hub into a popular gathering place. The plans are to refashioning the old JC Penney Building, which once served as the Downtown Convention Center, into the Stonegate Arts & Education Center. The old Milwaukee Depot would be moved to the lot on J Street once occupied by Cherio Liquors. The renovated rail station would serve as a trail head leading to an urban trail, public plaza, festival space, and senior rental housing. And the city hopes to secure a deal with CSX to purchase the railroad it can be used as a connection from Bedford to Mitchell.
The Indiana Department of Transportation would provide the city with an estimated half a million dollars to move the depot.
Hoosier Uplands would spearhead development of the senior apartments, facade restoration, and downtown business development by renovating retail space and offering it to businesses at "below-market lease rates that will gradually increase over time and allow for the purchase of the building."
The stellar project is a joint endeavor between the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).
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