Indiana town selling 4 historic buildings for $1

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MONROE COUNTY, Ind. – Just one dollar will buy you four historic buildings in the tiny town of Stinesville, Indiana, as long as you have a plan and the means to redevelop the buildings for new business.

Stinesville, located northwest of Bloomington in Monroe County, is working with the group Indiana Landmarks to seek redevelopment proposals for the connected buildings. 

Built in the late 1800s, the structures date back to Stinesville’s once-thriving limestone industry, which helped to build the Indiana State Capitol, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and other structures in otters parts of the country. 

The limestone facades of the buildings represent a direct connection to the little town’s history.  However, the buildings have sat empty for decades.

“We’re not getting any tax dollars with the town owning it,” said Stinesville Town Council Vice President, Kelsey McGlocklin.  “So we want someone else to have it so we can have more money coming into the town.”

“This is an economic development step that the town is taking and I think it’s really an important one that we hope will draw future activity,” said Mark Dollase, Vice President of Preservation Services at Indiana Landmarks.

Dollase said the idea to sell the buildings for $1 came from Italy.

“Italian hill towns are making homes to people who will come in and restore them for like one Euro,” he said.  “If we can get a commitment from that party that they will restore the buildings and put a viable use to them.”

While the selling price may be very low, renovations will have to be extensive.  Behind the limestone facade, trees and bushes can be seen growing inside parts of the structure.

“I think it’ll really help out the town in the long run, bringing something new,” said Stinesville resident Dakota Durhm.  “Many people have tried to buy it throughout the years and they just wouldn’t sell it.”

Dollase and town residents say they’re open to new business ideas.

“A grocery store, some type of Dollar General type of store, a restaurant,” McGlocklin said.  “So we don’t have to go 20 or 30 minutes away to shop.”

“Maybe like an antique store, because a lot of people like antiques and this is an old town,” said Stinesville resident, Nancy Stine.

Stine’s husband’s great great grandfather was one of the founders of Stinesville.

“I’d like to see the town built up,” Stine said.  “I’d like to see us be able to really do something with it.”

However, planners say any redevelopment proposal would need to preserve as much exterior aesthetic as possible, as a means of preserving the historic feel of the buildings.

“By preserving these buildings and reusing them, not only are we making peoples lives today more beneficial, but also we are preserving that story, that piece of our state’s history,” Dollase said.

“Everything we do here, we try to connect it to the history of the town, so that’s important,” McGlocklin added.

“We’re working on building the town,” Stine said.  “And I think that’s what it’s all about, pulling together.”

Indiana Landmarks is now accepting redevelopment proposals from interested parties.  Proposals should be submitted by 5:00 p.m. November 15, and can be emailed to Mark Dollase at mdollase@indianalandmarks.org.

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