Expectations rise for Shops on Main

2013-01-20T19:08:00Z Expectations rise for Shops on MainChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
January 20, 2013 7:08 pm  • 

SCHERERVILLE | Several town leaders continue to have high expectations for the proposed Shops on Main development, and they seem pleased with progress on plans for the project.

The development, which is expected to bring high-end shopping and restaurants to property near the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Main Street, has been discussed during several Plan Commission study sessions in recent months.

Developer Bruce Boyer, of Boyer Properties, said Shops on Main is scheduled to be on the agenda for the commission's Feb. 4 public meeting. The panel would consider primary approval for the project then, Plan Commission member Bill Jarvis said.

If the approval is granted, Boyer could begin infrastructure work for the development, Jarvis said.

Town Council President Rob Guetzloff said Town Manager Bob Volkmann and Town Attorney David Austgen "are doing everything humanly possible" to ensure the project is advancing in a timely manner.

Businesses that would locate in the development haven't been revealed yet, but the Plan Commission has examined numerous details of Shops on Main, including architecture and building materials that would be used during construction.

"We only get one shot to get this one right, and it appears the Plan Commission is taking the necessary time to achieve the desired result," Councilman Jerry Tippy said.

During a recent commission study session, Boyer said walkways will be created within the development, but no sidewalks are proposed along U.S. 41 or on Main Street because of safety.

He also said massive landscaped areas will be included in the development.

Tippy and other town leaders said they are excited about the many benefits the project could create in Schererville, and they believe plans for Shops on Main are advancing as anticipated.

"The council was assured by the developer that this shopping center would surpass anything currently located in Northwest Indiana," Tippy said.

In addition to the "fantastic shops" the development is expected to bring, the project will create many jobs and provide work for local unions, Guetzloff said.

"It's a win-win for everybody," he said of Shops on Main.

An initial concept for the development was presented to town officials several year ago, but it stalled then because of the economy.

After plans were revitalized last year, the Town Council authorized a financing agreement with Boyer Properties. The agreement uses tax increment financing districts to assist the project, town leaders said.

The town will issue $19 million in debt, which will be paid off by the tax revenue generated by the Shops on Main project, Schererville officials said.

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