DYER | The proponents of a new commercial development along Calumet Avenue in Dyer are seeking a tax abatement from the town.
An Indiana company with a similar project underway in Merrillville would like to put a skilled nursing/assisted living facility on 9 acres on the west side of Calumet, south of 213th Street.
If the project goes forward, it would be the first new construction on Calumet since the corridor was re-zoned special use more than 10 years ago.
Doug Peterson, of Main Street Exteriors, said the company would be willing to accept an agreement with a tax abatement that is larger for the first three to five years and tapers off over the remaining years.
Peterson and his development team met with the Town Council and Redevelopment Commission in a special meeting Monday.
Both Councilmen Jeff Dekker and Joe Cinko said they’d prefer to review an economic impact study before considering any tax abatement.
"I’d definitely find it helpful,” Cinko said.
The 130-bed facility would bring between 120 and 130 jobs to town, 95 percent of which would be new jobs, Peterson said.
Main Street also runs a skilled care facility in Westville, and the focus of its business model is short-term care. The average stay of residents is two to three weeks. Only 30 percent stay longer as part of an assisted living situation. The focus is on rehabilitation, and residents will more than likely be those who have just been released from the hospital.
Northwest Indiana is particularly attractive to the company because it “has a lot of hospitals,” said Jeffrey Ban, a member of the development team and president of Development Visions Group of Crown Point.
The company also tries to provide more of an upscale hotel experience for those who stay in its facilities, Peterson said. For example, a Dyer facility likely would include walking trails, a theater, a restaurant and a pub.
The site is in Dyer’s tax increment financing district and across from Central Park. Developers would have access to an existing road built by the county for a bridge project.
The road is across from Central Park Boulevard, which extends from the east side of the road and dead-ends in the park. The original plan for the corridor called for such a boulevard on either side of Calumet.