VALPARAISO | The city had another growth spurt Monday as the council approved the annexation of 32 acres as part of The Lakes of Valparaiso development between Evans Avenue and Vale Park Road east of Ind. 49.
The 32 acres will be part of the business park that makes up the northern half of the 146-acre development that will include 408 luxury apartments in the southern half. The council also approved the planned unit development ordinance that lays out guidelines for the project.
"This is a project that will create great jobs as well as quality housing," Mayor Jon Costas said after the council's vote. "When this project started, there were a lot of concerns, and we took those very seriously. (Developer Don Weiss) listened and we have a better product."
The final negotiations occurred as late as the weekend.
Weiss said he hopes to complete the remaining design steps and plan commission approvals in time to begin construction of the main north/south road and other infrastructure in the spring. Construction on the apartments is expected to begin this summer, but the first ones won't be ready for occupancy until the first half of 2015, he said.
"Having both parts will make this project more viable," Weiss said. "The apartments will help defray the cost of the road, which will make it possible to develop the business park. We are very pleased to be able to do this."
Weiss said he expects to invest about $100 million, and he said the apartment complex will be a community unlike anything built in this area with a clubhouse, pool, its own park and a trail system connecting to the city's network or pathways. The project will leave many of the trees on the site and add to them, he said.