in former Lodge building
MADISON, Ind. (January 2003) A prominent downtown
Madison historical building will soon get a makeover. Louisville financier
and developer Michael Flint recently purchased the former Lodge Home
Furnishings building, which he plans to convert into retail and residential
space. The front of the building will be restored to closely resemble
its original architectural style, Flint said.
Flint, 37, is a Madison native. After graduating from high school, he
attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where he earned a degree
in political science. In 1987 Flint traveled the presidential campaign
trail for candidate Richard Gephardt and subsequently moved to Washington,
D.C., where he worked for various members of Congress for the next decade.
Flint said he loved being employed in the political arena
but that 10 years was enough. In 1998 he moved to Louisville
and purchased a home in the downtown historic district, where he currently
resides part time. Flint also operates his own business, The Flint Group,
with headquarters in Louisville.
When hes not in Louisville, Flint stays at his farm in Jefferson
County, Ind. The farm, Flint said, is one of the oldest in Indiana and
was a major tourist attraction at the turn of the century featuring
cabins, a hotel as well as one of the largest caves in the state. Flint
purchased the farm, located between Kent and Deputy, in April 2000 from
Opal Nix and is working to restore it. Flint said that he typically
spends two or three days there each week, which allows him to oversee
his developments in the area.
Most of Flints income is derived from financing, primarily that
of public works projects. Development, he said, is more of a sideline.
I dont golf, so I do development, Flint said.
He most recently finished building a Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch
in Lawrenceburg. Redevelo-pment of the former Lodge building is Flints
second project in Madison. He also developed Rivertrace Apartments on
Broadway. That project cost more than $3 million, he said.
The success of Rivertrace, which consistently has a 100 percent occupancy
rate and a waiting list to get in, motivated Flint to tackle a second
redevelopment project in Madison. Flint said that he was approached
by many people looking for housing in downtown Madison after Rivertrace
Those inquiries stemmed mostly from people in three categories: those
with a second home elsewhere, those who currently own homes in the Madison
area but would like to move to a no-maintenance dwelling and corporations
looking for corporate apartments.
Flint said he thinks his latest project will satisfy a demand for housing
downtown and offer many benefits such as a convenient and safe location.
Flint says the development will ultimately benefit downtown Madison
by increasing foot traffic in the area.
Vibrant downtown areas, Flint said, help attract more corporate business
to cities, something that Madison could definitely benefit from. Downtowns
are important to companies. They dont want to see empty buildings,
Scott Lynch, a friend of Flint and the Realtor who handled Flints
purchase of the Lodge building, didnt like seeing vacant space
Im tired of seeing this empty building across the street,
Lynch said lightheartedly. Scott Lynch Realty is located at 416 West
St., just around the corner from the Lodge building. Lynch said that
he thinks the idea of redeveloping the space is wonderful.
Madison Mayor Al Huntington is also pleased with the idea. Huntington
said that the work Flint did on Rivertrace Apartments is evidence of
his talent and foresight.
Im really happy that Mike has the vision because thats
what it takes to see what this (development) could do for downtown Madison,
According to Flint, his vision for the Lodge building, which records
indicate to have been built circa 1850s-1860s, includes a number of
apartments or condominiums as well as a retail store or gallery.
Originally, the building housed Weyers, which sold farm implements
and hardware. The building changed hands several times over the years
but remained a hardware store until the early 1940s when it was purchased
by Boone Lodge Sr., who, along with brother, Gavin, opened Lodge Brothers
Furniture in 1946.
Flint said that he was acquainted with Boone Sr. and did electrical
work for Lodge Brothers Furniture with his father, the late Gerald Flint,
who was an electrician. The building, consisting of three stories and
a basement, was most recently used for showcasing furniture and appliances
sold by Lodge Home Furnishings. Flint said that although the building
will have to be totally remodeled, it is in good condition and is structurally
An initial layout study of the building reveals space for 12 residential
units, which includes eight, two bedroom units averaging 1,200 square
feet and four, one bedroom units averaging 900 square feet. The basement
will contain storage space for occupants and office or studio space
for the first floor business.
Flint said that he has not yet decided whether the residential units
will be rented or sold as condominiums or what the price will be. Those
factors, he said will depend upon the final cost of the project, which
he estimates will exceed $1 million, and the demand of consumers. Flint
said that he already has several individuals interested in buying condominiums
should he decide to offer them.
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