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GARY | Hundreds of apartment units may be renovated in the city under a $28 million proposal from a Carmel, Ind., company.

Under the plan, up to $28,278,700 in bonds would be issued by the company through the city, which would allow the firm to avoid paying taxes on the issuance. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson described them as pass-through bonds. They will not be considered a general obligation of the city.

According to a notice of a public hearing on the financing plan, the bond proceeds will be advanced to P/R Mortgage Investment Corp. to loan out to four other business entities that would acquire and make renovations at several apartment buildings.

The buildings to be renovated include a 156-unit apartment building at 2002 Hanley St., a 198-unit building at 1901-1920 Burr St., a 264-unit structure at  8901 E. 5th Ave., a 170-unit building at 9101 E. 5th Ave., and a 64-unit building at 9001 E. 5th Ave.

"It is really a testament to the positive things that are happening in the city," said Freeman-Wilson of the proposed project.

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Over the last eight years, she said, about $200 million has been invested in the city. She said the current project has the potential to benefit hundreds of residents.

"I't's something we've been working on for about six to eight months," she said.

A public hearing on the financing for the project  was to be held Tuesday, but was postponed to give company officials more time to get their materials together.

Still to be determined is what impact the renovations may have on rent. The mayor said she is looking into that issue and acknowledged that while people may want the renovations, they also may not want to pay any more  in rent.

She thought that it is possible the renovations could begin this year. According to Freeman-Wilson, the project would be similar to renovations at Park Shore Commons.

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