Merrillville commercial development on healthy pace

2013-06-30T00:00:00Z Merrillville commercial development on healthy paceChas Reilly, (219) 662-5324

MERRILLVILLE | Commercial development is continuing at a healthy pace in Merrillville, with several projects under construction or in the planning stages.

Construction started in April for a new building that will house Horizon Financial Management, a medical billing company.

Frank Termini, managing partner at Horizon Financial Management, said the roof is nearly finished for the 20,000-square-foot structure in the AmeriPlex at the Crossroads complex near 101st Avenue and Broadway.

"We still look forward to moving in Oct. 1," Termini said.

The business has outgrown its current location in the Chase building at 8585 Broadway.

Termini said there will be 80 employees when the new facility opens, but the new building allows employment to grow to more than 200 employees.

He said the number of employees will grow over time as Horizon continues to take on new clients.

In March, Dawn Food Products broke ground on a new 116,000-square-foot distribution center, which also is located in AmeriPlex at the Crossroads.

The frame of the structure was damaged during a June 12 storm.

"Right now our best estimates are that the storm damage could delay the opening date from Sept. 1 to potentially early November," Deb Benson, general manager of Dawn's Munster facility, said in an email.

She said unforeseen issues regarding material replacement or other weather problems also could delay the project.

"We are extremely impressed with the quality and rapid pace of the rebuilding work that is already underway," Benson said.

More than 70 employees from Dawn’s facilities in Crown Point and Munster will consolidate into the Merrillville facility. Dawn has indicated additional employees would be hired there.

This year, the town granted several requests for a new Aunt Millie's Bakeries distribution facility and retail sales business near 69th Avenue and Mississippi Street.

The company initially indicated construction could start early this summer.

Melissa Dunning, of Aunt Millie's, said a ground breaking hasn't been scheduled but the company continues planning for the site.

About 30 employees from the Aunt Millie's distribution center in Griffith would be transferred to the new location. An additional 25 to 30 employees would be hired.

Renovation of a building at 1794 W. 81st Ave. continues for the new Berman's Infiniti of Merrillville dealership.

The Town Council last week adopted an ordinance and passed a resolution to designate that property as an economic revitalization area.

Town Councilman Shawn Pettit said it's the first step in approving tax abatement for Chicago-based Berman Auto Group.

The Berman Auto Group has indicated it plans to open the new dealership this summer.

About one mile east of the future Infiniti dealership, is an Aspen Dental location that opened June 20.

Construction of that building started late last year.

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