MISHAWAKA - The work of transforming the century-old former Mishawaka Furniture building near downtown into senior apartments could start as early as December. Or it may begin two months later.
When it’s done, the massive brick landmark at 402 Lincoln Way W. will house 32 units as part of the Mishawaka Housing Authority.
The start-up depends on how the project can be tweaked to save money.
The low bid, opened on Oct. 18, came in at about $7.3 million from Ziolkowski Construction. That’s what the city had budgeted for the project, but it didn’t include “soft costs” like architectural and engineering fees and loan interest, said city planner Ken Prince.
So, now the city and the contracted architect and engineers are looking at how they could adjust the project to trim costs. For example, rather than installing a new elevator that would be central to all of the residents, an existing elevator at one end would be fixed up, said architect Greg Kil.
Kil said they are looking at a range of items.
If they can’t find enough changes to meet the budget, Prince said, the city would have to rebid the project - and that would delay it by about two months. The city will know in about two weeks whether or not it will have to rebid, he said.
Construction is expected to take roughly a year.
It would be known as the Mishawaka River Center Apartments. The project is being financed by various sources, the biggest of which would be nearly $5 million that would come from the sale of federal tax credits, Prince said.
Staff writer Joseph Dits: