This corner of the River Centre had to be built new due to the cost constraints of repairing the existing structure. <Photos by Matthew Crane.>

Retrofitting a former factory into a hub of residences and commercial businesses while creating an appealing aesthetic can be difficult. However, it seems Boxer Girl LLC’s team of planners, designers, and contractors for the River Centre are pulling it off.

With drywall being attached to the steel-stud framing in the cavernous space that formerly held hundreds of factory workers and woodworking machinery, the vision for the higher end apartments can be seen forming.

The apartments range from 380 square feet for a studio to up to 1,600 square feet for a two-bedroom. They come in 20 different floor plans — a requirement as designers worked within the confines of the bones of the former Jasper Cabinet building.

The apartments feature exposed ceilings with the original rafters whitewashed.

Touring the different apartments reveals exposed rafters as well as the original wooden beams and pillars that supported the three-story brick factory. The old wood has been whitewashed and with the large windows and color schemes for the apartments’ fixtures, even the smaller studio apartments will feel spacious and open when finished.

The apartments come with views of the Jasper Mill and Patoka River as well as other landmarks. As part of the construction, the area below this window will become a plaza open to the public.

Every apartment seems to come with a view. Whether it is the planned River Centre courtyard adjacent to the Patoka River, the Riverwalk, the Jasper Train Depot, downtown Jasper with the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church steeple and the Dubois County Courthouse clocktower, the Jasper Mill, or the Jasper Cultural Center when it is completed, there is plenty to see from the windows of the second and third-story apartments.

In the eastern section of the center are two large spaces planted in the middle of the superstructure of the building. The one on the third floor will be a library and open area for residents to hang out in while the second-floor space will be a work/conference center with an office for the property manager.

This is the area for the future library.

According to Leslie Tegmeyer, the property manager for Boxer Girl LLC, these community spaces give residents in smaller apartments some room to stretch out and also encourage more interactions between the residents of the River Centre.

“We really want to build a community and a lifestyle here,” she explained.

With the 20 unique floor plans being offered and other differences between the second and third-floor apartments, she hopes residents will find some commonality in their mutual curiosity of each other’s homes.

“Each one is just so unique,” she said.

According to Tegmeyer, they currently have a waiting list of 68 people or families for the 76 housing units the multi-use development will have.

“It is mainly young professionals and retirees that are interested,” she explained.

The Fairfield Inn & Suites proximity makes it easy for visiting relatives to the residents of the River Centre to have a nearby place to stay

To cater to those residents, the visitors staying at the new Fairfield Inn and Suites next door — with Strassenfest approaching, it’s nearly completely booked by the way — and the regular traffic to the community, the bottom floor will feature several businesses and restaurants.

Currently, three local businesses have expressed an interest in leasing space. Joelle + Co, a clothing boutique, is taking about 2,000 square feet with street front access from River Centre Landing. St. Benedict’s Brew Works will create a restaurant in about 2,700 square feet of the center. Fitfuel, a gym and cryotherapy center currently located on Third Avenue, will move into a space adjacent to the River Centre’s 24-hour gym. Fueled Strength meals will also have a pickup point for their meals program in Fitfuel.

A third-floor view of the Jasper Downtown.

The River Centre is also in talks to bring a full-service salon and spa into a 3,000 square foot area. Plus, there is still plenty of room available for more restaurants, a coffee or ice cream shop, and retail businesses.

As part of building the vibrant community center, Boxer Girl LLC included a 5,000 square foot rooftop bar that will be managed by the River Centre and can be rented for events. The rear courtyard overlooking the Patoka River will also be available for events as well as provide public access for restaurants and guests to the area. Residents will have access to a private courtyard as well.

“This will be so impactful for the region as well as Dubois County,” Tegmeyer said. “There is nothing like this anywhere near here. I feel like I am on vacation when I come in here and see what it will bring to the area.”

The River Centre is expected to open in March of 2020. Anyone interested in commercial or residential space can contact Leslie Tegmeyer at 317-670-6329 or email at leslie@jasperrivercentre.com.

Tegmeyer also took a moment to answer a couple of common questions she has heard.

Yes, the apartments are pet-friendly.

The parking arrangement is in the nearby yet to be constructed parking lot to the west of the center. There is no covered parking.

The apartments are not income or age-restricted as several of the recent housing developments have been.

An artist’s rendering of the River Centre.
The hallway in the western wing of the River Centre under construction.

by Matthew Crane on July 24, 2019 in Dubois County Free Press NEWS