New signs, new townhomes, new TIF deadlines coming to Lafayette

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – It could soon be easier to navigate Greater Lafayette, thanks to dozens of new signs coming to town.

Drivers will soon notice 57 new signs throughout Lafayette. These signs will guide drivers to destinations like the courthouse or neighborhood districts. Some will be posted on I-65. Others will direct people through town to Purdue University and West Lafayette. Corbin Design is overseeing the project.

On Tuesday, the Lafayette Redevelopment Commission approved a company for help with bids and contracts. City officials said visitors and residents should notice the signs in the near future.

“Depending on how our bids come in, we actually hope to do it all this year and finish it before the year’s end. But if the bids come in higher than expected, then we may look at phasing it in over a period of time,” said Dennis Carson, Lafayette Economic Development director.

The redevelopment commission also approved a company for engineering and surveying services for new townhomes in the Centennial Neighborhood. The project calls for a dozen two-story townhomes with two-car garages to go up on N. Fifth Street between Brown and Cincinnati streets. The land was once occupied by the Midwest Rentals building, which was demolished last May.

The project originally called for 14 homes, but a buyer has already expressed interest to combine two of the units. Neighbors are happy that the land is being used for residential purposes.

“After all these years, trying to drag somebody kicking and screaming to buy the land and develop the land — BOOM, straight out of the shoot, somebody is literally investing upwards of $300,000 to live down here,” said Michael O. Hunt with the Historic Centennial Neighborhood Association.

The redevelopment commission also talked about an impending deadline for the Tax Increment Financing or TIF program. Because of a legislative change, TIFs that began before 1995 will end in 2025 unless there are bond repayments, then the TIF expires in 2040. Carson said the city will look at future infrastructure projects financed by TIFs to see what needs to get done.

Also Tuesday, the commission determined Nanshan America, Caterpillar and Heartland Automotive were in compliance with tax abatements.

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