Hammond working to finalize brewery development deal

2013-05-29T17:45:00Z 2013-05-29T23:10:06Z Hammond working to finalize brewery development dealChelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | The city is working to finalize a deal with the owners of a Flossmoor, Ill., restaurant and brewery to build a second location at Interstate 80/94 and Kennedy Avenue.

The parent company of Flossmoor Station Restaurant and Brewery submitted a bid to the Hammond Redevelopment Commission in February to build a production brewery and restaurant at the site of the old River Park Apartments complex now known as Oxbow Landing.

“We view Flossmoor Restaurant and Brewery as the anchor tenant there,” said Phil Taillon, executive director of the city's Department of Planning and Development. “We're really trying to finalize a deal with them, and then it will help us know what other land is available.”

Taillon said an announcement should come within one or two weeks.

The city is waiting to negotiate with other groups interested in Oxbow Landing because, depending on whether the deal with Flossmoor Station is finalized, the site plan for the area at the southeast corner of the Borman Expressway and Kennedy Avenue could change in a couple of ways, Taillon said.

Taillon said the city is in the beginning stages of discussions with Air Adventure, a proposed family entertainment facility, which has submitted a letter of intent expressing interest in the site, Taillon said. The facility would feature a sky diving simulator, a go-kart track, a rock climbing wall and an arcade.

“We don't have anything else in Hammond quite like what ... that type of business has to offer,” Taillon said.

Air Adventure has been in talks with Merrillville on possibly locating a facility near 85th Avenue and Ohio Street, but its owner told town officials in May at least two other communities were interested in the Cedar Lake-based business.

Along with Hammond and Merrillville, Crown Point also is under consideration as a potential site, said Steve Krumdick, owner of Air Adventure. Krumdick said he wants the business to locate to a highly visible area from the interstate with easy access, so sites near Interstate 80/94 and Interstate 65 are key.

In 2011, Krumdick initially spoke with Hobart officials about locating the facility at Silverstone Crossing, but backed out because of issues with the development.

Krumdick declined to discuss Wednesday any potential incentives the development is being offered by the communities.

He plans to make a decision in the next month or so on where to locate. The facility is expected to be constructed and open by the end of this year or early spring 2014.

“It's going to be a huge economic boost to whatever area it goes into,” Krumdick said.

Among the proposals received for Oxbow Landing, Flossmoor bid $996,996 for 7 acres. Bids also were received by Pyramid Development Inc., owned by Greg Kaplan, with a proposal to build a concept comparable to a Mars Cheese Castle. Illinois veterinarian Dr. Claude Gendreau placed a proposal to bring a veterinarian facility and then work with Holladay Properties, which has a Portage office, to develop the rest of the site with retail.

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