VALPARAISO | To make sure Valparaiso doesn't get stuck with the bill for improvements and amenities on University Drive, the city's Redevelopment Commission is setting up the framework for a special improvement district.
Construction of the first building of the University Promenade on University Drive between Lincolnway and LaPorte Avenue is well under way, and developer Al Krygier said he expects work on the second building to start next week.
The ground floor of the first building is completely leased to medical offices, and the two-story town homes above will be ready to lease in time for the fall session at Valparaiso University. Krygier said about half the ground level of the second building is leased for retail use, and the town homes will be ready for the winter session at VU.
The development will have a small park on the southwest corner of Lincolnway and University Drive and will have on-street parking a public parking lots. The town homes range in size from about 1,600 square feet to over 2,000 and start at $1,350 a month, according to the University Promenade website.
Stuart Summers, the redevelopment commission's executive director, said the commission plans to use property tax revenue from the development to cover the cost of improvements to the road and the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection on Lincolnway as well as leasing the parking lots and maintaining the park.
The special improvement district would take effect only if the tax revenue wasn't enough to cover it. Summers said that could happen if a tax exempt entity bought some or all of the development. If that happens, the property owners and businesses would assess themselves in order to pay for that and any additional services they wanted, such as extra garbage cleanup or sidewalk clearing in winter.
The commission approved a resolution declaring its intent to create the district, and it will be presented to the city's Plan Commission at its July 10 meeting. The council is scheduled to consider it at its July 23 meeting followed by final approval at the redevelopment commission's Aug. 8 meeting.