Planners discourage developer on proposed Hobart apartments

2014-03-09T19:40:00Z 2014-03-09T20:30:18Z Planners discourage developer on proposed Hobart apartmentsCarrie Rodovich Times Correspondent
March 09, 2014 7:40 pm  • 

HOBART | A tentative plan for an apartment complex on the city’s southeast border has received a lukewarm response from the Hobart Plan Commission.

The complex, which would include as many as 265 units, would be built on 21 acres off the northwest corner of U.S. 30 and Grand Boulevard.

It was proposed by Indianapolis-based Edward Rose & Sons, which has developed Mallard Bay apartments in Crown Point and Berkshire in Merrillville.

The developers have a contract with the owners of the property to buy and build, pending approval from the city.

Steven Hormann, director of planning for Edward Rose, said the development would include three-story buildings made up of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The property would have a commercial component facing U.S. 30.

The property had been zoned as a planned unit development that would incorporate 50 duplexes and some commercial use. However, that zoning was approved in 2005 and expired after five years.

The developers could have asked to have that plan extended, asked for a new planned unit development or let the property revert to its previous zoning, which was a mixture of commercial and residential use, said City Planner Sergio Mendoza.

Plan Commission members said they had no interest in high density, multistory apartment buildings and said that property, which is the southernmost entrance into downtown Hobart, should be treated as a “gateway to downtown” and developed with the highest possible standards.

Commissioners envisioned commercial and business use for a bulk of the property, with a low-density residential area at the north end.

Commission President John Brezik said the complex would not be in the best interest of the city.

“That’s the entrance to downtown from the south,” he said. “We want to hold that property to the highest standards, from aesthetics on.”

Hormann said they would have to re-evaluate their interest in the property, because they are only interested in developing it as an apartment complex, which they feel is the most financially feasible plan.

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