Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

October 30, 2012

Bunker Hill apartments get $4 million upgrade

New owners catering to future Aeroplex workers

By Carson Gerber
Tribune staff writer

Kokomo — BUNKER HILL — An Ohio-based development company is pouring nearly $4 million into renovating a 32-unit apartment complex. The project got under way earlier this month.

The Woda Group LLC — which specializes in the design, construction and management of subsidized housing — purchased in August the former Miami Meadows family-housing complex at 314 E. Washington St. The new apartments will be called Prescott Greene.

Bill Gornto, the Miami County building inspector who has worked with the company for the last two years on the project, said the renovations will gut the current building and construct brand new eco-friendly housing units.

The company is also building a community center for tenants, he said, which will include computer stations, a picnic area, playgrounds, a garden area with a retention pond and laundry facilities.

“This is a really great development for the town,” Gornto said.

The new complex will include 17 single units and 15 double units. Of those, 29 will qualify for government subsidies, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture.

Gornto said the company anticipates catering to new workers coming to Dean Baldwin Painting, which plans to hire 200 people by the end of next year. Dean Baldwin will tentatively open in January 2013, inside a newly renovated airplane hangar at Grissom Aeroplex, located a few miles from Bunker Hill.

Christy Householder, deputy director of the Miami County Economic Development Authority, said the renovation project is a big boost to economic development in Bunker Hill and Miami County.

“Any time you have additional revenue, a land assessment increase and new housing coming to the area is good for everybody,” she said.

The company paid $545,000 for the building and property, according to the Miami County Assessor’s Office. Gornto said the company received federal grant money to help complete the project.

Sixteen apartments should be complete and ready for move-in by the end of the December, he said, and the remaining 16 units will be finished by early summer next year.

The Woda Group was founded in 1990 and currently owns and manages more than 160 properties with approximately 6,000 units in 11 states, according to its website. Calls placed with the company were not immediately returned.

Carson Gerber is a Kokomo Tribune reporter. He may be reached by phone at 765-854-6739, or by email at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.