Sourced from Dubois County Free Press
Luxury loft-style apartments located above a brand new McAlister’s Deli with direct access to the Jasper Riverwalk and the Jasper 8 Theatres across the street; hard to imagine we are talking about a new project from SERVUS!.
But the company’s new headquarters on South Newton southwest of Los Bravos will feature those benefits as well as access to multiple retail establishments on the property. President and CEO Jason Kelly appeared in front of the Jasper Economic Development Commission Monday morning to present the company’s application for a tax abatement for Phase I and II of the project.
The commission approved forwarding the request to create an economic development area to the Jasper Common Council with the recommendation for a 10-year tax abatement for Phase I. If approved, the company won’t pay property taxes on the project for seven years before paying 25 percent in year eight, 50 percent in year nine and then 75 percent in year ten.
Phase II of the development received a recommendation for a six-year abatement based on its score. Property taxes will be 100 percent abated for the first four years; year four the company will pay 25 percent, year five 50 percent and year six 75 percent.
The second phase includes an additional building on the south side of the triangular plot that abuts the Riverwalk on one side and South Newton on the other. That development will be largely dependent on the success of Phase I although Kelly stated the company is committed to the completion of both phases on the property and current plans include the necessary infrastructure for both buildings.
Although not discussed, the company also has a Phase III project that would be located on the 16-acre property across the street. Plans could include more housing or retail but according to Kelly, it’s too early to determine what the need in the area will be.
For the company known in the food service industry, adding the extra components of apartments isn’t a stretch as partners in the company have been working on similar developments in other areas of Indiana.
According to Kelly, the plan came together as the company was looking at a potential location for bringing a McAlister’s Deli to Jasper as well as dealing with the shortcomings of the company’s current headquarters. “It really was the perfect scenario,” Kelly said. “We had trouble marketing the site in the past and while others didn’t see the potential value of the site, we did. Frankly, it’s a combination of that and really being able to do something pretty cool for Jasper that’s not been done before.”
After several years of difficulty in developing the property, the company was inspired to take advantage of the catalytic developments occurring nearby. With the creation of the Jasper Cultural Center and the River Centre development, all the uses aligned and made the South Newton site very attractive.
The Phase I building will have more than 25,000 square feet with a basement parking area. The ground level will have 4,500 square feet set aside for the new McAlister’s Deli. The remaining 4,500 square feet could be split up into three additional retail spaces. The second floor would house the company’s new headquarters in about 8,000 square feet. The 8,000 square foot third floor will feature the six luxury apartments with rent set between $1,400 and $2,000.
The general public may be the most excited about the addition of McAlister’s Deli. Founded in 1989, the restaurant is a fast casual restaurant chain known for sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads, desserts and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea. In addition to dine-in and take-out service, they also offer catering with a selection of sandwich trays, box lunches, desserts, a hot spud bar and more.
SERVUS! has plans for four new locations and it opened its first in Bedford earlier this year. “What we have seen so far in Bedford is amazing,” said Kelly. “Our Bedford opening has been by far our highest opening ever and it continues to be our highest volume restaurant out of the 149 restaurants we operate across the Midwest. There’s no reason to think that McAlister’s is not going to provide that next big leg of growth for us. So yeah, we are very excited.”
The Jasper Common Council will consider the economic development commission’s recommendation at their regular meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m.
SERVUS! is one of Indiana’s largest franchise operators with Denny’s, Grandy’s, Long John Silver’s and Wendy’s locations across the Midwest.
“Today’s economic development commission meeting is the first step in a long process to bring this exciting project to life,” said Kelly. “Having opened our first restaurant in Jasper in 1964 and our current headquarters 10 years later, this project is a continued investment in our hometown where we want to continue for the next 50 years.”
If things progress with the council, the company plans on opening the new headquarters and restaurant in late 2018.