A Chance Worth Taking in East Central Indiana
Learn why one husband-and-wife team chose to invest in this region.
From its inviting communities and affordable neighborhoods to its sturdy economy and superb job opportunities, East Central Indiana is a region on the grow, and residents are stepping up to capitalize on its future.
Take John and Katie Lash, for example. This husband-and-wife team recently purchased the historic Davis Building in Winchester, which sits on the Courthouse Square and has been used for commercial and residential purposes. The Lashes are renovating this local treasure, built in 1927 as a result of the Indiana gas boom, to include 13 commercial units and seven apartments. Katie Lash offers insights on this project and why East Central Indiana is a great place to invest.
What made you want to restore the Davis Building?
My dad actually had an office adjacent to this building. There’s an atrium inside of the space, and so it has this shopping mall, arcade-like feel, and people would not know that on the outside. It’s kind of a fun hidden gem.
When I was young, I always loved that building. Just over a year ago, there was a paint shop in one of the commercial spaces, and a buddy and I were in there with our kids, and I was telling her the story about my dad. He had just passed away. I said that I had told my dad I wanted to buy it, and the lady who owned the paint shop said, “You know, the building is for sale.”
What kind of support have you received from the community?
We had so many different community members behind us. (We) talked to a local Realtor. He does property management for us. The economic development organization Randolph County United, we talked to them. They were super supportive. They gave us a bit of a loan. We had a local attorney who helped draft up our LLC. All of these folks were just going completely out of their way to cheer us on, like whatever it took, they were going to help us.
What do you hope comes out of your investment?
If we can get (the building) back to its better state, then we will be reminding people of why it was there.
Why should others consider investing in this region?
I realized the grass is really, really green here, and we aren’t going to be able to fix the things that bother us unless people step up and do it. It is a risk, but if the need is really there, then people will come around the table, and I think that’s the biggest strength of East Central Indiana.
If somebody will champion it, we can get people to lend their time, talent or treasure to make it happen.
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