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Collaboration Builds Carpenter Court

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke speaks to local media about the collaborative effort that created Carpenter Court. The Message photo by Tim Lilley

During an Oct. 22 ribbon-cutting ceremony, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke used few words in describing how the new Carpenter Court apartment building came to life. “The reason for Evansville’s success is collaboration,” he said. “Carpenter Court is the latest example of people and organizations working together.”

Carpenter Court represents the complete transformation of the old St. Joseph Parish School on East Iowa St. in Evansville. The 45-unit apartment complex features 12 one-bedroom units, 28 two-bedroom units and five three-bedroom units. The apartments are restricted to tenants earning 30-60 percent of Area Median Income, with monthly rents ranging from $298 to $720.

Carpenter Court apartments include dishwashers, garbage disposals, microwaves, washer/dryer hook-ups and other amenities. It also includes a management office; off-street parking; a laundry room, a community room featuring a sitting area with a TV, kitchenette and library; and a playground.

 “What a great day this is,” Mayor Winnecke said before joining several others for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting. “Many years ago, I was a parishioner at St. Joseph, so this is very special for me. And while the building has changed from a school to a beautiful apartment complex, it is still a pillar of this neighborhood.”

“This project is a true reflection of God’s hand at work,” said Diocese of Evansville Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer Tim McGuire.  “It is a wonderful example of the good that can occur when private, public, charitable and religious organizations work together for the common good. May God continue to bless those in involved in the project, and those who will reside in these new apartments.”

McGuire explained that when Terry Keusch of Pioneer Development Services approached the parish a few years ago, the school buillding was not being used.  With Parish Administrator Father Jay Davidson’s guidance, the parish leadership quickly embraced Keusch’s idea and approach.  With the support of the bishop, arrangements were made to transfer the ownership of the property to Pioneer Development Services.

Keusch thanked the residents in the area near Carpenter Court, along East Iowa and Garvin streets, for putting up with the noise and inconvenience associated with the renovation. “We also thank them for welcoming us so warmly,” he added.

The building also will be home to a Head Start facility that will be offered by the Community Action Program of Evansville. During her comments, CAPE Director of Children’s Services Mary Goedde reminisced about playing volleyball at St. Joseph School as a seventh-grader.

Several organizations will serve Carpenter Court tenants – including WorkOne, Carver Community Organization, Meals on Wheels, SWIRCA, Hope of Evansville, Visiting Nurse Plus, ECHO, Memorial CDC and the Dream Center.

Old National Bank provided the construction and permanent loans for the project. Through its subsidiary, ONB Community Equity, the bank also provided a $6.7 million Low Income Housing Tax Credit direct-equity investment. Carpenter Court received an allocation of LIHTC tax credits in 2017 from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

In addition to ONB, the Diocese of Evansville and St. Joseph Parish, the city and Pioneer Development Services, other partners include Keller Development, the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville, Keller Construction, Architecture Plus Corp., Moynahan Williams, Ritzert Co., Inc., and Neikirk Engineering.