The Lincoln Hotel and the Shoots building in Goshen now belong to LaCasa.

Goshen, IN— On October 27, following many months of planning, preparation, and anxious waiting for funding, permits and the fulfillment of bureaucratic requirements, LaCasa closed on the two historic buildings located barely a block apart at 112-114 and 210 E. Lincoln Avenue. Both buildings are over 100 years old.

LaCasa began negotiations with the owners of the two buildings during 2005, and on January 25, 2006, the organization signed purchase agreements.

By June of 2006, LaCasa received word that all the requested funding for the project had been granted.

According to LaCasa President, Larry Gautsche, “This project would not be happening without exceptional community support. Many people have recognized the potential benefits to the downtown historic and commercial district and to the East Lincoln Crossroads Neighborhood, as well as the need to improve living conditions for current and future residents.”

The project will benefit persons who have been living in substandard conditions in the two boarding houses. Currently, most living units do not include kitchen facilities or private baths. The 28 new apartments will be ideal for low-income individuals and small families, with access to many amenities such as restaurants, grocery/drug/retail shopping, health and social services, and public transportation.

The Lincoln Hotel and the Shoots building were tenant-occupied when the purchase agreements were signed on January 25. All tenants legally residing in the buildings on this date are entitled to relocation benefits under Federal regulations, and they were notified of their eligibility for these benefits. Persons who moved into the buildings after January 25 were notified that LaCasa planned on purchasing the buildings, which meant that they would be displaced prior to the start of the renovations.

By September 30, the Lincoln Hotel was fully vacated. LaCasa staff worked closely with tenants and building owners up through the time of closing on the buildings to ensure that everyone understood what was going to happen. All residents were assisted in finding new housing. The tenants who were entitled to benefits, and offered temporary relocation, were provided housing in the Shoots building. Tenants who were offered permanent relocation were given a list of comparable replacement dwellings and LaCasa assisted in their move. Persons who moved into the Lincoln Hotel after January 25 were given a list of potential rental units.

All current low-income residents of the buildings will be accommodated in the new apartments, or assisted with relocation expenses. LaCasa will manage this property long-term, and provide additional support services to the residents.

The construction team, along with volunteers, has already begun work at the Lincoln Hotel, cleaning out the building, taking down walls, and replacing the sidewalk out front. Work on the Shoots Building will begin after the completion of the Lincoln Hotel in April 2007. Both projects are scheduled for completion by December 2007, at which time a community open house will be held.