HOBART | The City Council on Wednesday tabled a tax abatement request for a $2.2 million medical/office center to be built off 61st Avenue near Interstate 65.
Council members David Vinzant, D-4th, and John Brezik, D-5th, told petitioner Merrillville attorney J.J. Stankiewicz they had a number of traffic concerns they wanted addressed before setting a public hearing on the tax abatement request.
"We'll go back to the drawing board," Stankiewicz said.
Stankiewicz said plans by his clients are to construct a 28,000-square-foot medical/office building on 2.2 acres at the northeast corner of Marcella Boulevard and 62nd Street.
The building, which will be called Hobart Square, will be primarily used as a medical clinic for patients with back injuries.
Initially, there will be 15 doctors at the clinic with that number eventually increasing to 65, Stankiewicz said.
Other businesses that will occupy the building might include a bank and drive-up-type restaurant.
Stankiewicz said his clients, doctors now renting space in Hobart, are seeking the tax abatement to help defray the high cost of the underground stormwater retention system that will be required at the site.
Plans also include a second phase across the street from the initial medical center, Stankiewicz said. Tax abatement savings could be earmarked to help pay for that construction, he said.
"It's a beautiful, beautiful project, but public safety is a factor for those exiting off of Marcella. ... There's traffic issues we need to look at," Mayor Brian Snedecor said.
Vinzant asked Stankiewicz and architect James Smith why the petitioners want to build a medical center off 61st Avenue instead of near St. Mary Medical Center.
"It seems more of a natural fit," Vinzant said.
Stankiewicz said the clients he represents picked that located because they wanted access off nearby Interstate 65.
Police Chief Rick Zormier also voiced concerns about traffic entering and exiting off Marcella Boulevard to busy 61st Avenue.