DYER | The Redevelopment Commission has reached a long-held goal: It now owns the entire northeast corner of the U.S. 30 and Hart Street intersection.
“We’ve acquired all of it,” said Jethroe Smith, commission president.
The commission now hopes to settle on a deal with an interested developer.
The corner has been vacant and undeveloped for 18 years. The biggest stumbling block was always the multiple owners who owned bits and pieces of it, according to town officials.
For the past few years, the Redevelopment Commission has sought to buy the entire parcel. The intersection of Hart Street and U.S. 30 is considered prime property because it is the first major intersection in town.
Officials made a priority of sprucing up the so-called gateway to Dyer. They’ve met with some success: Foodie’s Marketcafe is on the northwest side and the Engine Room and other stores are on the southeast.
The southwest corner is vacant and as the site of a former gas station comes with environmental issues.
The commission focused on the northeast corner hoping that once a single property owner, namely the Redevelopment Commission itself, was in place, negotiations for a development deal would go smoother.
To that end, Town Administrator Rick Eberly said the U.S. 30 and Hart Street intersection is in a special use district, meaning that it is subject to certain standards and requirements. One of them forbids anyone from applying for a variance to put a drive-thru there.
Eberly asked that the SUD rules be tweaked so that if a developer wishing to put in a business with a drive-thru comes to town, he or she will be able to apply for a variance before the Board of Zoning Appeals.