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Marketplace finds developer for Bedford restoration

BEDFORD: The historic Bedford Building, located at 231-237 S. Wabash St., is being renovated by commercial real estate firm Forza.

by MACKENZI KLEMANN - mklemann@wabashplaindealer.com

A commercial real estate development firm will partner with Wabash Marketplace to restore the Bedford Building, located across from City Hall at 231-237 S. Wabash St., Marketplace President Lisa Gillman announced on Monday.

The downtown Main Street organization will work with Zionsville real estate firm Forza to restore the historic property.

Gillman said in a statement Monday that the agreement allows for Marketplace to move its office to the Bedford property once Forza’s restoration work is complete.

“We think this will be a perfect location for us, giving us visibility on the busiest street in downtown Wabash,” Gillman said.

Forza representatives say restoration work is already underway.

The goal is to have the property operational by the end of the year, according to principals Adam D’Angelo and John Fleming.

The property was constructed in 1901 but had deteriorated after sitting vacant for years, and was at one point considered at risk for demolition. Wabash Marketplace acquired the Bedford Building two years ago to prevent that outcome, according to Marketplace Executive Director Steve Downs.

“We are thrilled beyond belief,” Downs said in a statement Monday. “There were many times we thought we would have to surrender our efforts and demolish the building, but our board never gave up hope. We are gratified that Forza has stepped up to help us save another building.”

This is the second major restoration project undertaken by Marketplace in downtown Wabash in as many years. Work is already underway at 5 W. Canal St., also known as the Bradley Building, which Marketplace acquired at the same time as the Bedford Building.

The Bradley property was at one point slated to become affordable housing, but local developers acquired the property from Marketplace last summer. Vandermark Duffey Enterprises is now renovating the space with plans to install condos and commercial retail space.