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Town outside of Bloomington selling four buildings for $1

But here's the catch.
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Posted at 8:00 AM, Oct 17, 2021

STINESVILLE — That big business idea you thought of that one time? Now may be an excellent opportunity to give it a shot — down in Monroe County.

The town of Stinesville, located about 15 miles northwest of Bloomington, is hoping to restore a historical set of buildings on its Main Street by launching a proposal project.

Town officials have put the buildings up for sale — for just $1 — in hopes a private party will revitalize the last remnants of a once-thriving downtown Stinesville.

"The buildings embody the rich history of the local limestone industry and subsequent growth in the town in the late nineteenth century," Indiana Landmarks wrote on its website about the historic commercial buildings.

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The cluster of five one-story limestone buildings was built between 1886 and 1894.

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The buildings selling for $1 in Stinesville are located at 8211, 8223, 8231, and 8237 W. Main St.

According to Indiana Landmarks, Stinesville was a bustling city with social activity and prosperous commerce as the limestone industry took off in southern Indiana during the 1850s.

Stinesville's quarries — where rock, sand, and minerals are extracted from the ground — supplied limestone to build several significant buildings across the country. Buildings such as the Indiana State Capitol, Indianapolis’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Chicago’s Tribune Tower, and the Masonic Temple in Washington, D.C.

"By the 1890s, it was a boom town of nearly 1,000 residents, with stone workers and carvers arriving from all over the world to work in the quarries," Indiana Landmarks wrote about the history of Stinesville.

However, a fire in 1916 took down Stinesville's stone mill, and by the 1960s, the quarries closed altogether, according to Indiana Landmarks.

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Stinesville is looking to turn four of the vacant buildings into just about anything. By selling all four buildings that collectively encompass 9,000 square feet for only $1, they think they'll get some offers.

Rehabilitation proposals are being accepted through Monday, November 15. The town and Indiana Landmarks will review the submissions and evaluate each applicant based on "experience, qualifications, financial responsibility, capacity to undertake the project, and the appropriateness of the rehabilitation plan."

Indiana Landmarks, a nonprofit working to help town officials revive downtown Stinesville, states the town is interested in live and work spaces, an event venue, restaurant, retail, or maker space for artisans or craftspeople.

As part of the Stinesville Commercial Historic District, the buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, making them eligible for rehabilitation tax credits.

Those interested in submitting a rehabilitation proposal can do so by emailing them to Mark Dollase at mdollase@indianalandmarks.org.