I-65 access helps lure firms to Crown East

2013-08-24T18:30:00Z 2013-08-25T15:07:04Z I-65 access helps lure firms to Crown EastSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
August 24, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Growing demand for his company's industrial engine services led Dave Nagel and son Brad in search of a location for a larger building.

They settled on a pair of lots in the Crown East industrial complex, where a 12,600-square-foot building is under construction to house Nagel's Superior Engine Service.

The business had outgrown its Summit Street location in Crown Point, where it began as a part-time endeavor by Nagel.

"We looked at one other spot and then we saw that one. It's actually perfect," said Brad Nagel, who works as a mechanic for his father.

Highway access was important to the company, which repairs engines on semitrailers, sometimes making roadside calls to do so, Brad Nagel said.

The Crown East location east of Broadway off 109th Avenue, where a ramp to Interstate 65 opened in 2010, also has attracted to a second firm.

Illini Hi-Reach proposes a 30,000-square-foot building on four lots in the complex to house the company's headquarters, said James Keilman, whose engineering design  firm represented the company at an August Plan Commission workshop.

The Illini Hi-Reach proposal is making its way through the approval process in Crown Point and intends to present a site plan in September, Keilman said.

"They hope to start construction this year," Keilman said of the firm, which rents and sells aerial work platforms and other types of lifts for  construction work.

Currently headquartered in Lemont, Ill., Illini Hi-Reach "was looking to get into Indiana. They want to expand," Keilman said.

The company "loved (the Crown East) location because of its proximity to I-65," Keilman said. "Most of their equipment goes out on flatbed trailers. They needed access to the highway," Keilman said.

The Superior Engine Service and Illini Hi-Reach proposals for Crown East were the latest good news for the industrial complex, where a sheriff's sale of undeveloped sites had been ordered after foreclosure in mid-2011. Developed sites in the 92.5 acre development weren't affected.

The market has improved since then, Crown Point Planning Administrator Christopher Meyers said earlier this year.

Crown East by late last year had added new occupants to formerly vacant space.

Locally owned heating and air conditioning supplier Berkheimer moved into the former Home Lumber Co. location, occupying 50,000 square feet. Home Lumber closed in mid-2009.

R.E. Michael, also a supplier of heating and air conditioning products, moved last year into the former 30,000-square-foot Home Lumber Co. warehouse nearby.

Both firms cited highway access as reasons for locating in Crown East.

Another half dozen businesses are in Crown East, including Don Levy Laboratories, Lambert Concrete, Danubius Machine and DynaDome Custom Pool Enclosures.



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