City of Knox Preparing for Possible Downtown Project

Gene Blastic

The man who initiated the talks on revitalizing downtown Knox was at last week’s Knox City Council meeting to listen to a plan of action to get the ball rolling. Gene Blastic was given the assignment to gauge interest from city officials and business owners in putting together a comprehensive plan that would address the deficiencies in the downtown area.

One of those deficiencies is the Starke County Economic Development building at the corner of Lake and Main Streets. The Foundation is considering plans to remodel or raze the century-old building at 2 North Main Street. Remodeling the building could cost in the range of $350,000 and that might not be in the best interest for the organization.

Blastic was enthused with the response to date on doing something on a complete downtown project.

“To me, it [the meeting] was a direct approach to looking at the downtown situation and coming up with an action plan and not spending a lot of time researching history, but to take what you have, and use that as a base to develop some plan to move forward and I think that that’s an appropriate way to go,” said Blastic.

There would be a cost to coordinating with the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns to do research and develop a plan for the downtown at a price of $30,000.

“Of course, the issue will be coming up with the money to do it. I think there would be a lot of people willing to help raise that money if we see some daylight in what we might get from this.”

Mayor Rick Chambers has alerted the Downtown Redevelopment Committee to be prepared to help tackle a possible project with the city and business community.