HAMMOND — Work on the $25 million Tailor Row apartment complex planned for downtown Hammond has been complicated by an existing foundation left behind by the former Goldblatt department store.

Developed by ATG Real Estate, Tailor Row will bring 208 mark-to-market units to Hohman Avenue between Sibley and Rimbach streets. The ground floor of the apartment complex will be filled with commercial spaces and will border an outdoor plaza.

Tailor Row will replace an underused car park that was once the location of the Goldblatt department store. Goldblatt’s bankruptcy was declared in the early 1980s as competitors like Kmart and Sears began to cut the discount chain’s business.

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Initial assessments show that the foundation of some old walls and a floor slab remain on the property. However, City Engineer Dean Button said further studies were needed to determine “what is actually underground there”.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the Hammond Redevelopment Commission unanimously approved a proposal for geotechnical engineering and inspection services with Advanced Engineering Services not to exceed $20,000.

“This underground structure is going to make building the foundations for these new buildings very complicated,” Button said. “We would be in danger if we didn’t take care of this.”

The remnants of Goldblatt’s building could cause the new foundation to settle unevenly and begin to tip over, Button said.

While developers originally hoped to begin construction on Tailor Row this fall, the remaining foundation has pushed back groundbreaking until next spring, Hammond economic development director Anne Anderson said.

Tailor Row is part of larger redevelopment efforts underway in Hammond town center which include the straightening of the curve that aligns Rimbach Street with Fayette Street and the redesign of Hohman Avenue to reduce the street to a traffic lane in each direction with a shared bike lane, additional street parking and new sidewalks.

Two other apartment complexes are also coming to the city center. The old Calumet Bank building at 5231 Hohman Ave. is set to undergo a $24 million overhaul that will include more than 100 residential units and 7,000 square feet of retail.

And a five-story complex called Madison Lofts is planned on the northeast corner of Sibley Street and Hohman Avenue. Madison Lofts will have approximately 55 residential units and 87,000 square feet of retail space.

Anderson said Tailor Row will likely take about a year to build.