In 2009, EDG worked with 111 West Market, LLC, the owner and redeveloper of Charley Creek Inn to create a TIF District that will permit the taxes to be paid on the real property increment to be captured for a period of up to 20 years to support the investment and the creation of economic and employment opportunities in downtown Wabash. The project also furthered the goal of redeveloping downtown into a tourism and entertainment district; again supporting capital investment and job creation. The total investment for this project is estimated at $10 million and will add an estimated $7 million in real property a.v. to the city. There will also be approximately $2 million in personal property which cannot be captured.
In 2011 Richard Ford took home the coveted Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration for his transformation of the Charley Creek Inn from a nearly vacant apartment building into a modern hotel. As Indiana Landmarks’ top honor, the Cook Cup recognizes owners who adhere to the highest standards of restoration in projects that make a positive difference in the community. RATIO Architects, Inc. was the design architect on the Charley Creek Inn project team.
Constructed in 1920 as the Hotel Indiana in downtown Wabash, Ind., the historic Charley Creek Inn is a four story building consisting of three floors of hotel space above street level commercial space. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing resource to the significance of the Downtown Wabash Historic District on July 18, 1986.
Ford's team of RATIO, Brandt Construction, Rowland Design and local subcontractors met strict preservation guidelines. Relying on historic photos, the design and construction team re-created missing features – the parapet, cast stone work on the façade, and the canopies over the main entrances – and restored the prismatic glass transoms, scored plaster walls and terrazzo floors. In addition to restoring previously neglected features, the design team created a new rooftop deck that features a vegetated green roof and a party room structure, showcasing the sweeping views from one of the tallest structures in downtown Wabash.
Inside the hotel, the design and construction team converted 80 small rooms into 30 large hotel rooms with modernized amenities. In addition, the team turned a dated basement level community room into a hotel banquet room. Ford added the restaurant Twenty and revived the Green Hat Lounge, a piano bar many Wabash residents remembered from years prior. New mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were installed throughout.
The Cook Cup is the second award the Charley Creek Inn has garnered this year. The State of Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology presented Ford with its annual Outstanding Commercial Rehabilitation Award.